Steve Camilleri’s astonishing scoring spree is rolling on relentlessly after he again ended the 2015-16 season as his team’s top scorer when playing for the Sicilian side CC Ortigia in Italy’s elite division.
Completing his eighth season in the nearby peninsula after having played for Partizan Belgrade in 2008, followed by a six-year stint with RN Bogliasco and then Sette Scogli, the Neptunes WPSC and Malta player has again continued where he left off in previous years while also finishing in fifth place in the star-studded 2016 list of Italian Serie A1 overall goal-getters.
He scored 53 goals from 23 matches for his team, an average of 2.3 goals, having missed three matches.
Ortigia finished 12th in the 14-team table after which they dodged relegation following the two play-outs in which Camilleri netted four more goals under the watchful eyes of national coach Karl Izzo who travelled to Italy to watch the end-of-season deciders.
The Sicilian team’s 10-9 victory against Florentia last week sealed their stay in the top division.
Camilleri’s striking exploits have been a permanent feature in Italy and Malta after the 28-year-old made his debut at senior level for Neptunes when he was barely 15 years of age.
Since then he has developed into a peerless performer whose all-round virtuosity has cemented his standing as the best waterpolo talent Malta has ever produced.
As a result, Camilleri attracted the attention of overseas top division teams.
His talents have also helped him finish at the scoring summit of the main local competitions for the past nine years during which he won the ASA Player of the Year honour five times, a joint record with former Sliema captain Marco Manara. He reached his apex locally when he was voted Sportsman of the Year for 2015 in the L-Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali Contest.
On the European stage, Camilleri made his first mark in 2007 when he finished third best scorer at the European ‘B’ Championship in Manchester.
Meanwhile, his striking instincts when playing for the country have helped our national team reach new limits in recent years. This culminated in his most prestigious achievement when he topped the scorers’ rankings in the Euro finals in Serbia last January.
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