What happened to Vincenzo Iaquinta?

Juventus 2

The 2006 World Cup winner has suffered a shocking fall from fame and remains without a club since his contract at Juventus expired.

Football can be a fickle sport and there's no greater proof than former Italian international marksman Vincenzo Iaquinta who is in calcio limbo.

It was at Udinese alongside Antonio Di Natale that Iaquinta shot to fame. Almost a goal every three games during seven seasons at the Stadio Friuli proved that the powerful hitman had what it takes to score at the highest level.

Iaquinta's name will forever be written into Italian football folklore as a member of the 2006 World Cup winning squad who played in five of the seven matches en route to glory, including the semi-finals and final.

But that momentous day in Berlin seems a long time ago now for Iaquinta whose fortunes have been on the slide for a while.

Juventus' glut of strikers and Antonio Conte's low opinion of him plus a few fitness problems left Iaquinta a peripheral figure for the Old Lady and saw him sent on loan to lowly Cesena.

There were offers from other clubs, but Iaquinta wanted to stay and fight for a place at Juve. It proved to be a costly choice. Frozen out of the first team, when his contract expired in June 2013 there was no chance of a renewal.

Most people, his agent included, believed that a host of mid-table Serie A sides would form an orderly queue for a proven goal-getter, but that wasn't the case.

The only offers for Iaquinta came from Serie B - a step down that he wasn't willing to take but one that Lazio striking star Tommaso Rocchi, who was in the same boat, was forced to make when signing with Padova a few weeks ago.

Brescia remain the only club to admit an interest in Iaquinta but the Rondinelle are in the second tier and that is still a sticking point for Iaquinta.

At the age of 33, he is far from ready to hang up his boots, but nearly three months into the season a free agent is a beggar rather than a chooser.

It may be time for Iaquinta to swallow his pride, sign for a Serie B side and get back to doing what he does best - finding the target. With each passing day the chances of a Serie A giant digging his number out of their address book look fainter.

image: © bianconero

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch