Fiery, charismatic and flamboyant, the Premier League has seen some top Italian characters grace its clubs over the years.
Here’s a look at the eight highest scoring imports from Italy…
8. Massimo Maccarone – 18 goals
Years Active: 2002 – 2007
It was Massimo Maccarone’s Serie B goals for Empoli that brought him to the attention of Middlesbrough in 2002 – he had become the first second tier player called up to the Italian national team for 20 years.
He wasn’t a consistent scorer in the Premier League, even spending the whole of the 2004/05 campaign back in Italy on loan, although he did score five in five to power Boro to the UEFA Cup final in 2006.
7. Gianluca Vialli – 21 goals
Years Active: 1996 – 1999
Gianluca Vialli was coming to the end of his illustrious career when he arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 1996. Formerly the world’s most expensive player, he scored 20 times in his first two seasons at Stamford Bridge and added one in 1998/99 having become player-manager.
Vialli was the first Italian to manage in the Premier League and also – at the time – became the youngest manager to lift a European trophy after victory in the 1998 UEFA Cup Winnners’ Cup final.
6. Mario Balotelli – 21 goals
Years Active: 2010 – 2013, 2014 – 2015
Clubs: Manchester City, Liverpool
When Mario Balotelli joined Manchester City in 2010, he was a young and volatile talent who needed moulding. Roberto Mancini managed to get something out of the striker during the triumphant 2011/12 campaign with 13 goals in 23 appearances, but he was back in Italy the following January.
Liverpool made an ill-advised decision to bring him back to England in 2014 and he added just one more Premier League goal to his tally.
5. Graziano Pelle – 23 goals
Years Active: 2014 – 2016
From a journeyman striker in Italy to a prolific goal scorer in the Netherlands, Graziano Pelle followed Ronald Koeman to Southampton from Feyenoord in the summer of 2014 and quickly became an important part of the good work the Dutch coach did at St Mary’s.
Pelle left for China and Shandong Luneng this summer.
4. Fabrizio Ravanelli – 25 goals
Years Active: 1996 – 1997, 2001 – 2002
Clubs: Middlesbrough, Derby County
Fabrizio Ravenelli joined Middlesbrough fresh from scoring in the 1996 Champions League final and lifting the trophy with Juventus. He scored a hat-trick against Liverpool on his Premier League debut, although his 16 goals weren’t enough to save Boro from relegation.
After spells with Marseille and Lazio, the ‘White Feather’ returned to England’s top flight in 2001 when he joined Derby County, where he was once again relegated.
3. Benito Carbone – 35 goals
Years Active: 1996 – 2002
Clubs: Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Bradford City, Derby County, Middlesbrough
Having played for Inter, Napoli, Torino and others in a varied early career back home in Italy, Benito Carbone joined Sheffield Wednesday in 1996 and spent a total of six years with several English clubs until 2002.
It was in Sheffield where he enjoyed his most success, leading the club’s goalscoring charts for the 1998/99 season and being voted Wednesday player of the season before things turned sour.
2. Gianfranco Zola – 59 goals
Years Active: 1996 – 2003
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola was not a great goalscorer by any means, but the Italian magician was a scorer of great goals during his time at Stamford Bridge.
He managed 59 Premier League goals in just under seven seasons with Chelsea, actually enjoying his most prolific campaign in 2002/03 before he headed to Cagliari at the age of 36.
1. Paolo Di Canio – 66 goals
Years Active: 1996 – 2004
Clubs: Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United, Charlton Athletic
Officially the most prolific Italian goalscorer in Premier League history, although never capped at senior international level, Paolo Di Canio enjoyed his best form either side of an 11-game ban for his infamous push on referee Paul Alcock in 1998.
It was that suspension which resulted in him joining West Ham, for whom he subsequently scored a spectacular scissor kick volley that continues to be talked about to this day.