David Trezeguet scored his record equalling 167th goal for Juventus last night, making now the ideal time to look at his career with the Bianconeri. Continuing the "Heroes" series, Adamo Digby chronicles the Frenchman's exploits in Turin and explains why, despite his amazing goal scoring prowess, he continues to split the opinion of football watchers everywhere, including fans of Juventus.
Perhaps David Trezeguet was always destined to be a Juventus hero. There are almost too many similarities between his life and career echoing those who have honoured the famous Black and White stripes before him to simply be coincidence.
He is of Argentinian heritage but plays for a different country and was born in October. His goal last night put him on equal number to Omar Sivori, with whom he now shares the distinction of being the club's highest scoring foreigner. For the record, Sivori was born on Oct. 2, in Argentina yet represented Italy nine times.
His career began at Monaco in 1995, where he played until signing for Juventus in 2000. During his spell in the Principality, his teammates included future Bianconeri Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry.
Just before joining Juve, Trezeguet scored the Golden Goal in the Final of Euro 2000, which won the title for France, at Italy's expense. During his time in Turin, his teammates have included Pavel Nedved, who's goal at Euro '96 helped the Czech Republic eliminate Italy, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who did the same for Sweden at Euro 2004.
The anti-Trezeguet camp can point to many factors as to why he cannot be considered a true great. Almost all of his goals come inside the box, making him the very definition of a "tap-in merchant" to rank alongside Linekar and Inzaghi.
His contribution to team play and defending is, at best, minimal. He is often guilty of being forgotten on the pitch; you can watch a Juventus game and for 89 minutes not notice he is actually on the field.
However, it seems this very trait is his strength, as in the minute you do notice him its when he appears between two defenders to score the inevitable tap in. The stats speak for themselves; his 167 goals for Juve have come in just 290 games, a phenomenal strike rate of 0.57 goals per game. Sivori's took 253 games.
Despite often being overlooked internationally, Trezeguet has still managed to be France's third highest ever goalscorer behind Henry and Platini, with 34 goals in 65 games.
The Juventus fans, while admiring and applauding every one of those goals, have made clear their displeasure at times with the player. His frequent contract rows with the club damaged his rapport with the fans. His intention to leave during Calciopoli made this worse, as did the admission he only stayed when the club was relegated because of their refusal to sell him.
He has already made public his desire to leave Turin after this season. No matter your personal opinion of the player and his ability, one thing is clear, he knows how to get the ball in the net and will continue to do so as long as he plays the game.
His nickname tells you everything you need to know about the man known to the Bianconeri simply as TrezeGol.