Goalscoring second nature for Edinson Cavani
Now Paris Saint-Germain's record goalscorer, things are coming naturally to Edinson Cavani both on and off the pitch…
This season is one that Cavani will never forget. In January, El Matador became PSG's all-time leading scorer when he netted his 157th goal against Montpellier Hérault SC at the Parc des Princes.
The league's 24-goal top scorer also netted twice against AS Monaco last month to clinch his fifth Coupe de la Ligue title. It was Cavani's 14th major title at PSG, his trophy cabinet matching his incredible goals tally.
'What we're here for!'
"It's incredible to win another trophy," Cavani told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS following his brace in the 3-0 win at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique. "That's what we're here for, to give our maximum on the pitch, to win matches, to win the cups, because these are trophies that will continue to help Paris Saint-Germain grow and, for me personally, that's very special."
Watch: Cavani's record-setting goal... and the 20 that preceded it!
PSG welcome Monaco to the Parc des Princes on Sunday knowing that another victory over Leonardo Jardim's side will see them wrest the Ligue 1 Conforama title from the principality club. Cavani is confident his team can do it.
"We've played Monaco three times already this season and we have won them all, by showing our desire and commitment," he continued. "Monaco at home could be the match that sees us win the league, so it'll be a very important match."
Anyone could do it... couldn't they?
Cavani's 24-goal haul leaves him with five more than injured PSG colleague Neymar and six more than fellow striker and Monaco captain Radamel Falcao heading into Sunday's match. With 112 top flight goals since swapping Napoli for the French capital in 2013, Cavani knows a thing or two about finding the back of the net.
"An attacker must always be ready in the penalty box," he said. "That's what we're on the pitch for, to finish off the work of the team and that means being ready when the ball arrives. You take the ball however it comes; with the head, the knee, it doesn't matter. When you see the ball coming, you have to read the play, read what will happen next, and that's why when the ball arrives, you already know what you're going to do."
Watch: Cavani's stunning lob against Rennes
Cavani has shown himself capable of scoring all types of goals: left foot, right foot, headers and penalties. His lob over Tomas Koubek in the 4-1 win at Stade Rennais FC in Week 18 perhaps best summed up his goalscoring instincts.
"The first thing you have to do is make sure you control the ball, and then you have to see where the goalkeeper is. Against Rennes, I saw that the defender was behind me, so I just had to control and see where the 'keeper was. I immediately saw that the 'keeper was coming out so I thought to lob him, but it happens so quickly on the pitch, instantaneous. You decide on the spur of the moment and that's what makes an attacker."
Place in history
A natural born goalscorer, Uruguay striker Cavani netted 49 goals in 50 games in all competitions last season and has 35 in 42 so far this term. A hugely popular figure, El Matador has already written his name into PSG history.
"I often speak with my family and friends and they ask me: Edi, do you realise what you’ve done here, you have made history with this club?" said the 31-year-old. "But sometimes, I don't think you can fully understand what you are living, and I don't think you really understand what it means until later, perhaps years later, when you look back, and only then do you see how important this moment is, and to have become part of the history of a club. But now, I play to have fun, to give my best on the pitch, but obviously I'm very happy, of course."
Cavani and Kylian Mbappé have struck up a quick understanding in the PSG attack
Cavani cuts such a passionate figure on the pitch, it's hard to imagine that away from the football field, there's nothing he likes more than a walk in the park with family and friends.
'At one with nature'
"It's always a special moment when you're at one with nature," he concluded. "You think about nothing, nothing at all, just to enjoy the moment. I think I have a special relationship, a special connection with nature. Man has created a lot of things and we're always on our phones, listening to music, on the iPad or watching TV."
"But I like other things, tranquillity, simple things. For me, the little things are the biggest things, and that's my philosophy in life, so I guess that's just the way I am, calm. I prefer spending time with my family, in nature, with animals. That's just me."
Whether it's on the field of play or a million miles away, it's in Cavani's nature to score. Monaco have been warned.