Europe’s top goalscorers’ charts were dominated by more experienced strikers in 2019-20, with Ciro Immobile and Robert Lewandowksi leading the way.
The 30-year-old Immobile won the European Golden Shoe thanks to his 36 Serie A goals for Lazio, while 32-year-old Lewandowski ran him close with 34 – and 55 in all competitions.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Jamie Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also having familiarly prolific seasons, six of the top 10 league goalscorers in Europe were aged 30 or above.
Former Lazio striker and Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Doll thinks he understands why, telling Sport Bild: “The medical care, the training preparation, the training design has completely changed in the last 10 years.
“A big plus of the older strikers is their inner calm. They have already experienced those ups and downs in their careers and no longer drive themselves crazy if they fail to score two games in a row, or when there is a negative headline about them in the newspaper.
“They just turn the page, while a younger player stops and wonders whether he is in crisis.”
Immobile is fast establishing himself as a club legend at Lazio, scoring 125 goals in 178 games in the last four seasons after disappointing at Dortmund.
In his only full season at the club before being sent out on loan, he managed just three goals in 24 Bundesliga games.
“It didn't work out for Ciro in Dortmund because he didn't get acclimatised there,” Doll said.
“Dortmund are a club that takes incredible care of their players, but he didn’t manage to get used to it.
“In the beginning, the language was certainly a major obstacle for him. In addition, the expectation on a goalscorer who had come from Torino for a big transfer fee was extremely high.
“When it wasn’t working at the beginning, Ciro must have looked at the newspapers. There was something like "wrong purchase".
“That may have weighed on him and slowed him down; he got into a negative spiral. It’s a shame for BVB and for the Bundesliga, but especially for Immobile because he couldn't show what he was made of in Germany.
“That's why it's so nice that football writes these stories and that he exploded at Lazio.”