Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Serie A Weekly welcomes writer Ben Powell to the pages of Serie A Weekly. Throughout the 2011-2012 season Ben will be bringing Gialloblu updates and insights to the website. Make sure to leave your comments for Ben all Chievo Verona faithful.

A new Coach, a raft of new faces, another year older but some things remain the same. At the Stadio Bentegodi, this means front man and skipper Sergio Pellissier. At the end of last season, the Aorta born striker was left on 121 career goals which included 95 league goals for the Gialloblu.

Fast forward to the opening game of this season against newly promoted Novara at the Bentegodi last Sunday and the scene was set. Just five minutes into the game and Pellissier arrived unmarked at the far post to put the finishing touches to a cross from teammate Paolo Sammarco and wrap up his official 96th strike for the club, though the man himself won’t be happy until his record reads 100 league goals and then 100 Serie A goals. This is because although he has spent the best part of ten seasons at the club, by far his most prolific season was the 2007-08 season when ‘the flying donkeys’ had slipped out of Serie A before returning at the first attempt as Champions.

A large part of this was down to the Gialloblu’s talisman. He struck 22 league goals in Serie B having been handed the Captains armband at the start of the season as a reward for turning down several offers to stay in Serie A. He decided that leading Chievo back up would be the best way of rewarding the Bentegodi faithful who had stuck by him throughout the previous season’s struggles. At the halfway point, Chievo were struggling woefully near the foot of the table and Pellissier had a mere three goals to his name. Then the Coach was sacked a replaced by Domenico Di Carlo and things picked up considerably.

Towards the end of March Pellissier hit the headlines when he grabbed a brace in a 3-0 victory over high-flying Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Just two weeks later he got greater plaudits when he went one better hitting a hat-trick in a remarkable 3-3 draw in Turin against Juventus. He finished the season with 13 Serie A goals to his name as Chievo pulled themselves clear of the relegation fight.

His efforts didn’t go unnoticed with his national boss either as Marcello Lippi called him up for a friendly with Northern Ireland in Pisa. Pellissier came off the bench to grab his one and only international goal in a 3-0 win. He wasn’t included in the squad for the 2009 Confederations Cup and sadly has never been picked for his national side since.

Two summers ago as new Coach Stefano Pioli was preparing to take over the reins, Pellissier was headhunted as the man to spearhead a new look Juventus attack. The Bianconeri had highlighted the Gialloblu hit man as their main target for the incoming boss Gigi Del Neri, himself a former Gialloblu coach, someone with the experience of working with Pellissier. They were prepared to pay whatever the Bentegodi based club were asking, but for Pellissier it was never an option. He stressed that it was never about money for him, his family were settled in Verona and he just wanted to enjoy his football.

Following on from his goal at the Bentegodi on Sunday he now has 96 Chievo goals to his name and as they head for the Stadio Ennio Tardini to face Parma this Sunday, Pellissier will be hopeful that he can take another step towards that magical 100th Gialloblu league goal.

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