Gonzalo Higuain wrote himself into the Serie A record books as his hat-trick fired Napoli to a 4-0 win over 10-man Frosinone that sealed a second-placed finish.
Higuain’s 19-minute second-half treble sees him become the first man to score 36 goals in a Serie A campaign, nudging ahead of AC Milan’s Gunnar Nordahl, who scored 35 in 1949-50 in 37 matches.
Nordahl’s record was thought to be one of those unreachable records, and what is even more remarkable about Higuain’s season is that he missed three games due to suspension so he scored his 36 goals in only 35 matches.
To put Higuain’s incredible season in perspective, no player has ever won the Capocannoniere title by doubling the second placed goalscorer in Italy’s top flight, and he came close to doing that. Juventus striker Paulo Dybala finished second in the scoring race with 19 goals, 17 behind Higuain.
“I am very proud of what I have done,” Higuain told Premium Sport. “I was determined to break the record and I am so happy I have done so.
“For the team, it is great to be back in the Champions League. That was our goal from the start of the season.
“It has been a great campaign for us and we are in a great place to build for the future.”
It was also a night to remember for Marek Hamsik, who put himself alongside Diego Maradona in scoring 81 league goals for Napoli – the second highest in the club’s history.
The second-place finish books Napoli’s qualification directly to the group stages of next season’s Champions League.