The first two weekends of the new season have thrown up plenty of surprises so far. Inter have only managed to take four points from six, Milan have lost, Juventus have lost, Roma have lost, with the latter going down 5-1 at the impressive Cagliari. The biggest surprise so far however, is that Chievo have taken six points from six.
The Flying Donkeys are sat out on top as the only club with a 100% record so far. Anybody asking for the odds on this occurring would have been quickly ushered into the lunatic’s asylum before the season began. The fact that the Gialloblu have achieved this is testament to the new coach Stefano Pioli and the club’s policy in the transfer market of looking for bargains. One such player who is showing early signs of living up to this tag, is former Piacenza striker Davide Moscardelli.
Although he is yet to complete 90 minutes in a Chievo shirt (having been substituted in the second half of both games so far), he is showing the very early signs of great promise and his return of two goals from two starts can’t be questioned. Having finally reached his target of Serie A football at the age of 30 after playing the majority of his career in Serie B, he has certainly paid his dues. The man who was nicknamed ‘Battigol’ for his physical similarities to former Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta during his lengthy Serie B career, has led an indifferent existence from your average Serie A marksman.
Born in Mons, Belgium, in February 1980 to Italian parents, he began his career in the 1997-98 season with Serie D club Maccarese. He stayed learning his trade until 2001 when he was transferred to fellow Serie D side Guidonia Montecelio.
At Guidonia, Moscardelli was a huge success, racking up 20 goals in just 27 appearances. This led to his current employers, the Flying Donkeys, offering him a professional contract, but immediately ferrying him off to Serie C2 side Sangiovannese in a co-ownership deal. The step up saw him contribute 15 goals in just 30 appearances and led to Sangiovannese buying ‘Battigol’ outright, but immediately they sold him on to Serie B side Triestina. This meant that Moscardelli was slowly approaching his target of playing in Serie A.
Whilst there, ‘Battigol’ scored 16 goals in 42 games in his first season, although he played less regularly in his second. He was then moved on to newly promoted Rimini for a two year spell where his record read 15 goals in 63 games. Moscardelli’s name was beginning to get noticed around the Serie B scene. His next stop was for just one season at Cesena where he bagged himself 15 goals in 40 appearances. This was enough to bring him to the attentions of Piacenza where Moscardelli would have a two year stay, scoring 22 goals in 77 games. Finally he was given his chance at making the step up to Serie A football when Pioli took the vacant coaches job at the Flying Donkeys, replacing Domenico Di Carlo in the process.
Many experts and critics alike, believed that Moscardelli would begin his Gialloblu career on the bench. Pioli being the character he is, chose differently. He immediately installed ‘Battigol’ into his starting XI for the opening game at the Stadio Bentegodi against Catania as the striking partner of skipper Sergio Pellissier. In keeping with Moscardelli’s extra-ordinary rise from non-league football to Serie A striker, it was ‘Battigol’ who opened the scoring in what would be a fantastic opening day 2-1 win on his debut.
To cap that on Week Two of the season last weekend, it was Moscardelli again who would score the equaliser in the opening away game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris against much fancied Genoa. The Gialloblu went on to record a fabulous 3-1 victory which sees them sitting out on top on their own after just two games.
If as expected Stefano Pioli keeps faith with the same starting XI that has brought wonderful back to back victories so far, then Moscardelli will be looking to make it three goals from three games against newly promoted Brescia on Sunday. If he manages it, maybe, just maybe, Moscardelli could even start to believe in the odd dream of soon wearing that great Azzurri shirt for the first time. Stranger things have happened, just take a look at ‘Battigol’s’ career so far.