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Sep 17, 2013

Di Natale still hungry for football

Antonio Di Natale says he is still loving football at Udinese after making his 300th appearance -- and scoring -- for the club on Sunday.

Di Natale celebrates after scoring against Inter Milan
Di Natale played his 300th game for Udinese on Sunday.

The Italy international, who remains on national team coach Cesare Prandelli's radar for next summer's World Cup, reached the landmark in typical style with his goal earning the Bianconeri a point against Bologna.

However, he says goalscoring is a doddle compared with the biggest challenge a 35-year-old faces.

"The most difficult thing is not scoring, it’s keeping fit," he said. "That is what I work so hard on. I like playing and as soon as I don't enjoy myself any more, then I’ll quit."

Guidolin, who had to be reminded by a journalist about Di Natale's milestone prior to the game, said he would be surprised only if the Neapolitan forward did not board a plane to Brazil next summer, although he would not envy Prandelli for having to put up with him every day.

"Each time I bring him off, he tells me where to go and says I’m clueless," Guidolin said. "All I am doing is extending his career by taking him off 20 minutes from time.

"If he plays another season like the last four, then I don't think anybody can take his place in the national team away from him. I hope he scores plenty of goals -- for us and for him."

Even visiting coach Stefano Pioli paid tribute to the Serie A top goalscorer from 2010 and 2011.

"You can’t leave Di Natale even 30 centimetres," he said. "We're disappointed to have conceded, but against a side with the quality of Muriel and Di Natale, you can’t leave them any room at all, particularly not to Di Natale inside the penalty area."

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