Serie A: An in-depth look at the top five goalscorers
- A brief history and introduction of the Serie A and profiles of the top five scorers in the history of the league.
Italian football's top-flight football competition, the Serie A, had its inaugural edition in 1891. Played in its present-day (single round) format since 1929, Serie A has been a 20-team league since the 2004 season. UEFA's league coefficient for the Serie A, based on the performance of Italian clubs in European competitions (Champions League and Europa League) in the past five seasons, ranks the league third in Europe.
Serie A is ranked behind Spain's Primera Liga and England's Premier League but ahead of Germany's Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1.
Serie A is the only top-5 European football league to employ a true round-robin system - where teams play each other exactly once during the first half of the season called 'andata' and in the same order, but with home and away teams reversed, during the second half of the season called 'ritorno'.
A total of 66 different clubs have played the Serie-A in its present format (since 1929). Among 12 clubs to have won Serie A, Juventus are the record winners of the competition with 35 titles (33 in the present format) and have won the last eight titles (a record for most consecutive league titles).
Internazionale (often called "Inter") is the only club to have played in all 88 seasons of Serie A in its present format.
Juventus have the records for most wins in a season (33), most home wins in a season (19), most consecutive wins (17), most matches won overall (1555) and most goals scored overall (5000).
Juventus' legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has won the most titles as a player (9) while Paolo Maldini of AC Milan has the most Serie A appearances (647). Buffon also has the most Serie A clean sheets (292) and most clean sheets in a season (21).
Maldini (AC Milan) and Francesco Totti (AS Roma) share the record for playing in most consecutive Serie A seasons, with 25 apiece. The duo also shares the record for most Serie A seasons for a single club.
Gonzalo Higuain has scored the most goals in a Serie A season, finding the back of the net 36 times for Napoli in 2015-16. Gunnar Nordahl and Giuseppe Meazza share the record for most Serie A hat-tricks (17 apiece).
As the 89th edition of the Serie A gets underway this weekend, let us have a look at the all-time top five goal scorers in the history of the league.