From being Zlatan’s foot soldier, to leading the line in a star-filled team, Edinson Cavani is on the brink of making history for PSG
It was the 89th minute, Edinson Cavani was through on goal with the responsibility of keeping Uruguay alive in Copa América 2016. Venezuela were 1-0 up, a scoreline that would knock La Celeste out of the tournament they have won a record fifteen times. Cavani picked his spot but failed to hit the target to the disbelief of every Uruguayan watching at home and in the stadium.
In France, Paris to be more precise, people were beginning to worry as well. PSG had parted with their megastar Zlatan Ibrahimović in the summer of 2016, so it was now up to Cavani to show his qualities in his preferred No9 spot.
After coming over from Napoli in the summer of 2013, the man from Salto mainly played as a right-winger for the club due to the presence of Ibrahimović. Cavani didn’t do badly, scoring 25+ goals each season including six goals in four finals but never fully flourished because his position limited his natural game too much.
Edinson Cavani has been named Ligue 1 player of the season.
Well done Edi, keep proving them wrong! ??? pic.twitter.com/IaLCK0u33e
— Warriors of Uruguay (@UruguayanHeroes) May 15, 2017
In his first three seasons at the club, Cavani was criticised a lot and until few weeks into the 2016/17 season it continued. Cavani clearly had some problems adjusting to life as the main man again but when he got going, he never stopped.
In his first season as PSG’s undisputed striker, the Uruguayan scored a remarkable 49 goals in 50 games. He scored eight goals in eight Champions League appearances, proving wrong those who say his goal scoring numbers are only so high because of Ligue 1 being a far inferior league.
PSG won two domestic cups but missed out on the French league title in 2016/17. Cavani deservedly won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and returned to the select group of elite players in world football. In his role as a No9, Cavani could express his goal scoring instincts and striker’s movement freely and more than lived up to the expectations.
In his second season as PSG striker Cavani has continued to find the back of the net with ease, grabbing 25 goals in 24 games before the winter break. It has put his PSG tally up to 155, just one shy of (you guessed it) Zlatan Ibrahimović – who is PSG’s all-time top scorer.
Cavani will smash the record and emphasize his status as one of the best strikers in the world. Since Zlatan left, he has scored 74 goals in 74 appearances for PSG, which is very impressive and also leaves you wondering why he waited so long for that No9 spot.
Despite all of that, Cavani is enjoying life at PSG at the moment and if he can guide PSG to European glory this season, Cavani will not have only surpassed Ibrahimović in terms of goals but also in terms of legacy at PSG.