August 8, 2018

Player Feature: Modern Striker Edinson Cavani

“The Ultimate Finisher”

Full Name: Edinson Roberto Cavani Gomez
Birthdate: February 14, 1987
Place of Birth: Uruguay
Position(s): Striker, Forward, Left/Right Winger

Edinson Cavani once expressed that “scoring a goal feels like a liberating act”. From his heroic displays, the sentiment sure looks like a vow and an obligation he has put his heart into.

Cavani is the El Matador, but he is a character that puts the team first. He makes himself available in each opportunity and creates space for teammates. He’s an aggressive striker with the single-minded pursuit of wreaking havoc to opposition’s defence. He’ll be sure to hunt down any player close to him to get the ball for his team. He’s a natural hard-worker who will cover the entire pitch till the whistle is blown. This non-individualistic approach of his has been praised all-around.

Notable Skills/Style of Play

– Indirect set-piece threat
– Composure and eye for goal
– Burst of pace
– Strong headers and aerial attempts
– Able to play several offensive positions

Formative Years

Edinson Cavani was born in Salto, Uruguay and is the youngest of three children. His family has an ingrained love for football, especially his father Luis Cavani who was a former footballer himself. Edinson would play for hours in the streets, sometimes with kids much older than he was. By the time he reached his teens, he started trying out for the city’s youth football program. He proved to be a determined and talented player. He consequently made it in the youth ranks of Danubio in 2006 and was later selected for the Under-20 team that competed in the 2007 South American youth championship. He finished the tournament as the top goal scorer with seven goals.

Football Career

Ciita di Palermo
Cavani signed with Palermo in 2007 and made his debut for the club in the match against Fiorentina. He scored an equalizer at 70’. In retrospect, the Uruguayan powerhouse said the overhead kick is the best score he ever did since it opened a lot of doors for him in Europe. In season 2008-2009, Edinson scored 14 goals which earned him the moniker El Matador. The following term, Palermo had a successful run in the Serie A and even qualified for the UEFA Champions League.

S.S.C. Napoli
In 2010, Cavani was loaned out to Napoli for over €5 million. He found the net twice for starters and went on to score in his next three matches. He became the league’s top scorer along with Samuel Eto’o after the game opposite Cesena (Napoli v Cesena: 4-1). His play with fellow forwards Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik became one of the best team-ups in Serie A. On January 2011, Cavani scored a hat-trick to overcome Juventus (third goal coming off a scorpion kick). He repeated the feat that same month in the 4-0 victory against Sampdoria. After wrap-up, he emerged as the leading scorer for The Blues. For season 2012-2013, he scored all four goals in the thumping of Roma and capped the period as Serie A’s top scorer with 29 goals in total. There were talks that Edinson would separate ways with Napoli, but the striker stated that the Italian club was his top preference. Nevertheless, Napoli signed a contract for his transfer to PSG for €64 million.

Paris Saint-Germain
Cavani’s move to Ligue 1 territory revealed his true mettle (He played support to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their three years at PSG.) He came on as a substitute at 72’ in his first match for the club (PSG v Montpellier) then scored a goal in the following game (PSG v Ajaccio). He finished the French baptism of fire with 25 goals of 43 outings. In 2015, he helped PSG win the Coupe de la Ligue Final with two goals against Bastia and then struck a hat-trick in the Ligue 1 finals. (PSG v Guingamp: 6-0). He also scored the lone goal in PSG’s Coupe de France final against Auxerre. (PSG v Auxerre: 1-0). The Les Parisiens thereby achieved the treble, with Cavani scoring 31 goals in all competitions. In the 2016-2017 edition of Ligue 1, he scored 14 goals in 14 matches. He also hit eight goals for PSG’s UEFA Champions League campaign. With 35 goals to his credit, he was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year.

In 2017, PSG’s old reliable became part of the Neymar-Cavani-Mbappe attacking trio. He went on to score in each of PSG’s opening three games in the Champions League. He became the French camp’s all-time top scorer on January 2018, surpassing Ibrahimovic’s record with 157 goals in 229 matches. On May 2018, he led the team to clinch the Coupe de France against Les Herbiers VF.

International Duty
Cavani made his debut for the Uruguay national team in 2008. He scored his very first international hat-trick in the friendly against Indonesia. The La Celeste reached the 2013 Confederations Cup semi-finals with Cavani scoring 10 goals. He was the lead scorer in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification, the CONMEBOL tournament. In his nation’s 2018 World Cup run, he scored the final goal against hosts Russia and two goals against Portugal.

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