Golden Shoe winner Immobile ecstatic after surpassing Ronaldo, Lewandowski

The 31-year-old Immobile clinched the prize, awarded annually to the top league goal-scorer across Europe, by scoring 36 goals last season.

Ciro Immobile celebrates a goal with team-mate Adam Marusic during a Serie A game.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Ciro Immobile described winning the European Golden Shoe as the greatest moment of his career.

The 31-year-old clinched the prize, awarded annually to the top league goal-scorer across Europe, by scoring 36 goals last season.

That tally saw the Lazio striker equal the single season scoring record in Serie A and become the third Italian to win the award after Luca Toni in 2006 and Francesco Totti in 2007.

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"This is the highest point of my career. When I look at this award it makes me even more determined to win more," Immobile told reporters after a ceremony at the Sala Giulio Cesare on Rome's Capitoline Hill.

"All of this must be shared with my team-mates, who put me in the best condition to win it."

Immobile pipped Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (34 Bundesliga goals) and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo (31 Serie A goals) to the prize.

"I won it against great champions," the Italian said.

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"Everyone has their own story and mine started far away, on the outskirts of Naples.

"I didn't want to go to school when I had a little fever, but I always wanted to get on the pitch. This stubbornness has always made me stand out."

In winning the Golden Shoe, Immobile broke Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez's decade-long stranglehold of the award, and sent Lazio to the Champions League group stages for the first time in 13 years.

"Ciro Immobile has taken Lazio to the top of Europe, where they belong," former Lazio and England midfielder Paul Gascoigne said in a video for the club's social media platforms.

Lazio owner Claudio Lotito called the Italy international "a symbol of the city".

"He's an ambassador for this club and the fans," he added.