||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
|Date of birth||19 March 1976|
|Place of birth||Rome, Italy|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 1 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 November 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Alessandro Nesta, Ufficiale OMRI (born 19 March 1976) is a retired Italian professional footballer . Widely considered to be the best centre back of his time and also as one of the greatest defenders ever, he is a four-time member of the annual UEFA Team of the Year.
In 1985, he joined Lazio's youth academy. He assumed the team captaincy in 1997, and helped Lazio win the 1998 Coppa Italia after beating Milan in the final, in which he scored the winning goal. This was followed by a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and European Super Cup in 1999, and a rare Scudetto and Coppa Italia double in the 1999–00 season, in addition to two Italian Super Cups.
Just before the 2002–03 Serie A campaign, financial woes forced Lazio to sell many of their best players. Nesta was transferred to Milan for €30.987 million (or 60 billion lire; 1 euro = 1,936.27 lire). His first two seasons with the Rossoneri were very successful as he won the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League, the Coppa Italia, European Super Cup and the Scudetto. Despite missing most of the 2006–07 season due to a shoulder injury, Nesta played a vital part in Milan's return to the 2006–07 Champions League final, where Milan defeated Liverpool 2–1. He (and Milan) also won another European SuperCup in August 2007. Nesta signed a contract extension that would keep him at Milan until 2011. Nesta went on to score his first goal for Milan since April 2006 in a 1–1 draw with Siena on 15 September 2007. He followed this up with an important goal for Milan in the 4–2 victory over Boca Juniors in the final of the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.
Serious back injuries forced Nesta out of action for the whole 2008–09 season which raised concerns about his chances to make a comeback into active football. He fully recovered from his injuries and came on as 77th minute substitute in Milan's final away game to Fiorentina on 31 May 2009 for his first competitive appearance of the season. The following season Nesta scored his first brace for Milan in a 2–1 victory over Chievo Verona in the Serie A. He began to re-emerge as a starter for the club and was one of Milan's most consistent players throughout the entire 2009–10 season. Nesta continued his excellent partnership with fellow centerback Thiago Silva throughout the 2010–11 season, forming a formidable defence, conceding just 24 goals in 38 games during the Serie A season. Throughout the 2010–11 season, speculation indicated that Nesta would retire at the end of the season. However, he later confirmed that he wanted to play one more season at Milan before retiring and signed a contract extension on 18 May 2011, which kept him on Milan's squad until summer 2012.
On 5 July 2012, Nesta signed a contract with the Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer. He signed an 18-month contract on a free transfer. The club also stated he would not be signed as a designated player. The defender joined fellow Italians Matteo Ferrari, Bernardo Corradi, and Marco Di Vaio at the Canadian club. He will retire at the end of the 2013 season.
He made his debut, against Olympique Lyonnais in a friendly game on 24 July. He made his competitive debut three days later in a 3-1 home win over the New York Red Bulls. He received his first red card in Major League Soccer during a 2-1 win over Sporting KC on 1 June 2013.
On 20 October 2013, Nesta announced that he will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2013 MLS season after playing parts of two seasons with the Impact.
Alessandro Nesta began his career for Italy and was a member of the Under-21 squad that won the 1996 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. A few months later he was named to Italy's Euro 96 squad in England but did not come off the bench as Italy were eliminated in the group stage by eventual finalists Germany and the Czech Republic. He earned his first cap for the Azzurri in a qualifier for the 1998 FIFA World Cup against Moldova on 5 October 1996 and eventually made seven appearances in the qualifying campaign. At the final tournament, Nesta played in all three group games but made no further appearances due to injury. Two years later, he featured at UEFA Euro 2000 partnering Paolo Maldini and Fabio Cannavaro in defense throughout most of the tournament as Italy finished as runner-ups.
Euro 2000 started Nesta's career as a first choice center back under Giovanni Trapattoni. During the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he partnered Fabio Cannavaro in central defence but once again injury kept him out of the second round defeat to Korea. Italy's disappointment continued at UEFA Euro 2004 as they were eliminated in the first round by Denmark and Sweden but Nesta managed to stay injury free and played for a full 90 minutes in all three group games. Following two successive disappointments, newly appointed manager Marcello Lippi kept Nesta in the starting lineup as Italy topped their qualification group en route to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, the final tournament turned out to be a personal disappointment as injury in the final group game against the Czech Republic put him on the sidelines while Italy went on to win the trophy. After the World Cup, Nesta made one appearance in the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Georgia but continuous injuries forced him to retire from the international team. Prior to the final tournament, Nesta declined Roberto Donadoni's invitation to return to the national team. Two years later, he similarly turned down an invitation from Marcello Lippi prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
On 7 May 2007, Nesta married his fiancée, Gabriela Pagnozzi, in a civil ceremony in Milan; the religious ceremony followed on 30 May 2007. Gabriela was working for Casa Italia, the Italian national team HQ, during the 1998 World Cup. Their relationship was born when she tended to him following his injury against Austria. "I can say, I got the injury and her in France then. And the injury has gone, [but] she has stayed with me." Their daughter, Sofia, was born on 19 October 2006 and on 20 March 2008 their son Tommaso was born.
- As of 1 November 2013.
1Continental competitions include the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and CONCACAF Champions League
2Other tournaments include the Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Intercontinental Cup and FIFA Club World Cup
|Italy national team|
- FIFA.com[dead link]
- AscotSportal.com[dead link]
- "– Team of the Year". Uefa.com. 24 Oct 2012. Retrieved 5 Nov 2012.
- "PROGETTO DI BILANCIO AL 30 GIUGNO 2003 (part 3)". SS Lazio (in Italian) (Borsa Italiana Archive). Retrieved 18 Apr 2012.
- linkHalf-time lead 3 4 - 1 (24 Oct 2012). "– UEFA Champions League – News & Features – News specific". Uefa.com. Retrieved 5 Nov 2012.
- "Report: Milan Defender Alessandro Nesta Considers Retirement". Goal.com. 7 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- cc=5901 "Nesta to play for one more season". espn.com. 6 Apr 2011. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- cc=5901 "Nesta pens one-year Milan extension". fifa.com. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 24 Aug 2011.
- "It's official: Impact ink World Cup winner Alessandro Nesta". MLSsoccer.com. 5 Jul 2012. Retrieved 5 Jul 2012.
- "Nesta sees his future in coaching". Goal.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Alessandro Nesta gets first ever MLS red card for headbutting opponent". inside World Soccer. 3 June 2013.
- Domin, Martin. "World Cup winner and Milan legend Nesta to hang up his boots at end of MLS season". Daily Mail. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Alessandro Nesta - International Appearances". RSSSF. 14 Dec 2007. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- "Korea's golden moment". bbc.com. 18 Jun 2002. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- "Injured Italy national team captain in world cup Nesta ruled out of World Cup final". monsters and critics. 6 Jul 2006. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- cc=5901 "Nesta retires from internationals". bbc.com. 1 Aug 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Nesta refuses Euro 2008 callup". fifa.com. 27 Aug 2007. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- "World Cup 2010: Milan's Alessandro Nesta Will Not Return To The Italy Team - Marcello Lippi". goal.com. 1 Mar 2010. Retrieved 30 Apr 2011.
- Alessandro Nesta profile at A.C. Milan.
- Alessandro Nesta - RSSSF Italy international. rsssf.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alessandro Nesta.|
- MLS player profile
- National Team Statistics at FIGC official site
- FootballDatabase.com provides Nesta's profile and stats