||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
|Date of birth||28 February 1987|
|Place of birth||Rome, Italy|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|2008–2010||→ Livorno (loan)||52||(2)|
|2010||→ Juventus (loan)||16||(2)|
|2010–2011||→ Parma (loan)||31||(3)|
|2011–2012||→ Cesena (loan)||18||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 May 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Antonio Candreva (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔnjo kanˈdrɛva]; born 28 February 1987 in Rome) is an Italian footballer who currently plays for Serie A club Lazio and the Italian national team. He can be deployed in several midfield positions due to his tactical versatility, although he usually plays in a central role as an attacking midfielder or as a winger on the right side of the pitch, although he is also capable of playing on the left. A dynamic and complete player, he is well known for his pace, stamina, and work-rate, as well as his eye for goal. He is also gifted with vision, creativity, precise passing and crossing ability, and a powerful, accurate long-range shot, as well as good technical ability, ball control and dribbling skills.
Born in Rome and nicknamed Il Timido ("The shy one") for his cautious style of play, Candreva started playing for the youth teams at local club Lodigiani, then transferred to Serie C1 team Ternana in 2003 and played several games for the first team when they were promoted to Serie B for the 2004–05 season. After Ternana were relegated back to Serie C1 the following season, he became a regular in the side and attracted the interest of several Serie A clubs.
On June 2007, Candreva was then signed by Serie A club Udinese and played for their Primavera (U-20) team as overage player. He made his Serie A debut on 27 January 2008 and managed several appearances for the first team.
Loan to Livorno and Juventus
The 21-year-old was successively loaned out to Serie B outfit Livorno for the 2008–09 season. Together with Alessandro Diamanti, he helped the Tuscan side regain promotion to Serie A as playoff winners. After a successful first season, the loan deal between Udinese and Livorno was subsequently extended to one more year, thus giving Candreva the opportunity to play a full season as a regular in the Italian top flight.
On 20 January 2010, it was confirmed Serie A giants Juventus had signed Candreva on loan for the rest of the season, for €500,000, with Juventus having an option to buy half of his contract from Udinese at the end of the season. He was initially signed as a back-up, filling in whenever Claudio Marchisio was injured or suspended and struggled in the wide midfield role. After Alberto Zaccheroni made several tactical changes, the youngster adapted well to the new formation and scored his first Serie A goal, the winner against Bologna less than ten minutes after on as a substitute for Diego. A few days later, he made his debut in European competition in the Europa League round of 32 second leg against Ajax when he came on as a late substitute for captain Alessandro Del Piero.
After the end of the 2009–10 season, Juventus opted not to exercise their right to sign the player permanently and Candreva returned to Udinese in the summer.
On 31 August 2010, Candreva signed for Serie A side Parma on a one-year loan deal, for €500,000. Parma had the option to purchase Candreva in a co-ownership deal, but declined to do so. Candreva had endured a difficult season in which he failed to live up to expectations.[according to whom?]
In the last day of the January 2012 transfer season he moved to Lazio on a free loan deal, in return Simone Del Nero from Lazio went for a free loan in Cesena. Candreva scored his first goal for Lazio against Napoli in the 2011–2012 season where he was finally praised by the Lazio supporters after an indifferent start.
With the hiring of Lazio's new coach Vladimir Petković in the 2012–13 season, Candreva has finally won over fans and coaching staff continuously being one of Lazio's best performers. On 2 September 2012, Candreva scored his first goal for Lazio in the 2012–2013 season when Lazio defeated Palermo in a 3–0 victory following Miroslav Klose's 2 goals.
On 26 May he wins his first trophy, the Coppa Italia, in a historic derby against city rivals of Rome for 1–0.
Candreva has played for Italy since the U-18 level, making his debut in October 2004. After taking part in the 2008 Toulon Tournament, he was named in reserve list for the upcoming Olympics. Candreva was eventually called up as an injury replacement for Tommaso Rocchi. He made his U-21 debut on 9 September 2008 in the 2009 European Championship qualifier against Croatia. In May, he was called up to the 23-man squad for 2009 European Championships as second choice and made several substitute appearances.
In early May, Candreva was called up for the training camp prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and included in the 30-man preliminary squad announced on 11 May 2010 but was dropped a week later.
In October 2012, Antonio Candreva was recalled by Cesare Prandelli to play in a double fixture for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification. Candreva earned a spot in the national team after his top performances for Lazio playing in both qualifiers.
In June 2013, Candreva was selected by Prandelli to play in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. In the knockout stages of the tournament knockout stage, during the semi-final against Spain national football team the match had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Candreva stepped up to take the first penalty and scored past Iker Casillas by chipping the ball, in a way that recalled the famous penalty scored by Czech legend Antonín Panenka in the UEFA Euro 1976 Final.
On 1 June 2014, Candreva was selected in Italy's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In Italy's opening match of the tournament, he assisted Mario Balotelli's winning goal in a 2–1 defeat of England on 14 June.
- "Candreva sprizza umiltà: "Da fantasista è un'altra vita. Ma Diamanti manca molto..."". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Candreva, juventino romano "Se sabato segno, esulto"". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Inter Primavera reach Scudetto final". FC Internazionale Milano. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
- "Annual Financial Report at 30 June 2010". Juventus. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Il centrocampista Antonio Candreva alla Juventus" (in Italian). Udinese Calcio. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
- "Candreva: "It’s a unique emotion"". Juventus F.C. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
- Parma FC SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2011 (Italian)
- AC Cesena SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2012 (Italian)
- "Bilancio S.S. LAZIO SpA 30-06-2012" (in Italian). SS Lazio. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Mercato in uscita" (in Italian). AC Cesena. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Comunicato" (in Italian). SS Lazio. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "BILANCIO S.S. LAZIO SpA 30-06-2013" (in Italian). SS Lazio. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "Comunicato" (in Italian). S.S. Lazio. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Comunicato" (in Italian). SS Lazio. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
- "VERSO IL MONDIALE. VENTINOVE AZZURRI CONVOCATI PER LO STAGE DI ROMA". FIGC (in Italian). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Ecco i 28 Azzurri che Lippi porterà in ritiro a Sestriere da domenica". FIGC (in Italian). Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "World Cup 2014: Italy omit Giuseppe Rossi from final squad". BBC. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "England 1-2 Italy". BBC. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.