A special recognition for Valletta forward Mario Fontanella as he was named in a prestigious list issued by Transfermarkt, a notable website that provides worldwide football statistics.
The German-based website published a list of 30 Italian forwards with the best goal-scoring record in their respective leagues in the last two decades, from 2001 to 2021.
As expected, the list includes several high-profile names such as former Udinese stalwart Antonio Di Natale (209 goals in 445 games), Roma legend Francesco Totti (194 goals in 415 games) and 2006 World Cup winner Luca Toni (189 goals in 381 games) who form the podium.
However, the biggest surprise of the list comes at number 20 as Fontanella occupies that place with 92 goals in 152 games between Floriana and Valletta.
At the Greens, Fontanella scored 52 league goals whereas at the Citizens, the Napoli-born player found the net on 40 occasions.
Italian media giant Sky Sport reported this list, highlighting the surprising presence of Fontanella among some of the best forwards that have graced European football.
In this 2021/2022 campaign, Fontanella has already scored six goals in eight games including a goal against Sta Lucia in their last league fixture prior to the November international window.
In response to this prestigious recognition towards the Valletta forward, club president Alexander Fenech took to social media to show his disappointment after Fontanella’s passport application on sporting merit to represent the Malta national team had hit a dead end.
The Valletta striker Fontanella had voiced his frustration on this situation in an interview with the Times of Malta, back in March.
“I am desperate to be part of the national team’s project and I hope that this situation is resolved as soon as possible,” Fontanella had said.
In 2020, Fontanella was been lined up as one of two Italian players considered for a Maltese passport on sporting merit following a recommendation by the Malta Football Association and national teams’ head coach Devis Mangia.
Meanwhile, named in the list is former Birkirkara Fabrizio Miccoli who scored 123 goals in 309 games overall.
In his short stint at the Stripes during the 2015/2016 season, Miccoli had scored six goals in 11 league games.