Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain sets Serie A goals record with 36 in a season
Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat trick to break a 66-year-old Serie A record with his 36th goal of the season on the final day of the season on Saturday.
Higuain, 28, scored all three of his goals in a 20-minute span in the second half of Napoli's 4-0 win over Frosinone.
He broke Gunnar Nordahl's record, set in the 1949-1950 season, with a spectacular overhead kick in the 71st minute.
Higuain, who accomplished the feat while playing in just 35 games, is the ninth Argentine to win the Capocannoniere as the top scorer in Serie A.
"I had such an immense desire to beat this record and I have to thank everyone, above all my family, the city, the staff, the club and the team," Higuain told Mediaset Premium.
His first goal of the evening came seven minutes after the restart when he superbly struck into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
He levelled Nordahl's record when he turned in Hysaj's centre from close range just after the hour before making history nine minutes later by slashing home into the roof of the net.
The victory secured Napoli's second-placed finish and direct qualification into the Champions League group stage next season.
"I am so proud of this record, now we can celebrate because we're back in the Champions League," Higuain said.
"I knew that I could do it, I just had to stay calm. In the first half I struggled with my finishing, then the team helped me and fortunately I was able to score three.
"I thank [manager] Maurizio Sarri, absolutely, which is why after the third goal I went to hug him on the touchline. He helped me so much, he always told me what I had to do in order to improve and I always listened.
"It's difficult to comprehend, but I hope that soon it can really sink in. This is a marvellous moment in my career. After the third goal I saw the whole team running to hug me and I felt an immense joy."
Higuain is the first to score 36 in Serie A, which began in 1929-30. The previous year, Gino Rossetti also scored 36 for Torino.