Definition of Capocannoniere

What is "Capocannoniere" in the game of football? What does it mean?

Capocannoniere, otherwise known as the Serie A Golden Boot, is the award given to the highest scorer in the Italian premier league - Serie A. The award is given out annually.

Definition of Capocannoniere - Football Game Dictionary


One of the great appeals about the footballing season is seeing which player will emerge as the great goalscorer in the league. Each league has their own award for this highest scorer, each with a different name. In Italy, it bears the name of Capocannoniere, or "head gunner".

The capocannoniere has been tracked as far back as 1898, though the records do not become consistently reported until 1923. Unsurprisingly, Italian players have been the ones who have won the most, though this was partly because many came before the game was so worldwide. The longest streak of Italians winning the capocannoniere was between 1966 and 1981.

Despite this dominance of Italian players winning the capocannoniere, the player to have won it more than anyone else was Swedish. Gunnar Nordahl won it 5 times with AC Milan, with nobody else managing above 3 capocannoniere awards. As for those with the highest amount of goals in a single campaign, it becomes a bit more contested. Three players are tied on 36 goals: Gino Rossetti in 1928-29, Gonzalo Higuain in 2015-16 and Ciro Immobile in 2019-20.

The clubs that have won the most capocannoniere awards are almost all from the north of Italy. Milan have 17, while their Milanese rivals Internazionale have 15. In between is Turin-based Juventus with 16. It then slowly drops off, with Torino at 11, Lazio at 11, Roma at 10 and so on.

The capocannoniere continues to be a valuable award and reflects how lethal a single player can be in Serie A. Strikers who play in the league will continue hunting for the records set by those like Nordahl and Gino Rossetti, while Immobile and Higuain's efforts show that isn't beyond believability.