For the last two major tournaments Italy has played in (Excluding the Confedrations Cup), Antonio Di Natale has been called up and played a strong role in the Azzurri. Now, 35 years old, the Napoli-born forward is reaching the twilight of his career. But, scoring the late equalizer against Bologna on his 300th appearance for Udinese, the bandiera of the Friuliani has shown once again why he is still one of the best.
Antonio has been the benefactor of Guidolin’s golden era at Udinese. Tempted by offers from Milan, Juve and other top sides, he refuted each one to stay at his club. He has played the lone-striker role as well as partnering one of the games’ brightest talents (Muriel), and he can still fit in Prandelli’s attack on Brazil.
Statistically speaking, Antonio Di Natale has showed no signs of slowing down thus far. In seven official games, he has scored three goals and notched two assists. For the past three years, he has been the most prolific Italian striker. Scoring countless match saving or winning goals. He has put his team on his back and never given up. Even from a physical standpoint “Toto” is still in great shape. He is still able to play the majority of matches.
Prandelli may have many players vying for the striking roles. Balotelli at this point is realistically the only certainty in going to the World Cup. Four spots will remain open most likely until the last game of the season. If Di Natale can continue his incredible form, he may very well find his way on the plane.
Recently, he came out and stated that his year very well may be his last season. A shot at redemption after the South Africa debacle may put the icing on an illustrious career.