Damiano Tommasi

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Damiano Tommasi
Damiano Tommasi.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-05-17) 17 May 1974 (age 41)
Place of birth Negrar, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1991–1993 Verona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1996 Verona 77 (4)
1996–2006 Roma 262 (14)
2006–2008 Levante 44 (1)
2008 Queens Park Rangers 7 (0)
2009 Tianjin Teda 29 (1)
2009–2011 Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo 10 (2)
Total 429 (22)
National team
1994–1996 Italy U21 4 (0)
1998–2003 Italy 25 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Damiano Tommasi (born 17 May 1974) is a retired Italian footballer who played as a defensive midfielder for club and country. A strong, tenacious, consistent, hardworking, and versatile player, Tommasi primarily excelled at breaking down the opposition play and intercepting passes as a box-to-box midfielder and as a ball winner. He also possessed good technique and distribution, which enabled him to start attacking plays after winning back possession; these attributes allowed him to play anywhere in midfield.[1]

After a full decade representing the colours of Romawinning the 2001 national championship – he started an abroad career, going on to play for teams in three different countries until his retirement at the age of 37. He amassed Serie A totals of 262 games and 14 goals.

Tommasi appeared with Italy on 25 occasions, scoring 2 goals, and was a member of the Italian team that took part at the 2002 World Cup.

Tommasi is currently the preseident of the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC).[2]

Club career[edit]

Born in Negrar, Province of Verona, Tommasi started his professional career with local Hellas Verona FC, in Serie B. He made his Serie A debut on 7 September 1996 with A.S. Roma in a 3–1 win over Piacenza Calcio, and would be an instrumental figure in the capital side's 2001 scudetto conquest, representing the club for 10 seasons (1996-2006).[2]

During a summer friendly match against Stoke City in 2004, Tommasi suffered a horrible knee injury, caused by Gerry Taggart,[3][4] and was out of action for a long time. In the summer of 2005 he accepted a one-year contract extension, with youth player wages (1,500 a month) – a contract which, astonishingly, Tommasi instigated himself in the name of fairness.[5] On 30 October 2005, he finally returned to play, entering on the second-half in place of Olivier Dacourt, during a league match against Ascoli Calcio 1898, being even hailed with a long standing ovation by the Roma supporters.

On 27 November 2005, Tommasi scored after just two minutes, in an eventual 1–1 home tie against ACF Fiorentina,[6] being an important first-team member as Roma finished runner-up. After 10 years with the same club, in July 2006, he joined Levante UD in Spain,[7] spending two seasons with the La Liga strugglers, which eventually got relegated in 2007–08.

On 10 September 2008, Tommasi agreed a one-year deal with English second division team Queens Park Rangers.[8] On 9 January 2009, his contract was terminated by mutual consent and, after advanced talks with Chinese League's Tianjin Teda, he signed for the club early in the following month, citing an interest in a third experience abroad as the main reason for it.[9]

After one season, 35-year old Tommasi left Teda and decided to return to Italy, joining amateurs Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo (Seconda Categoria), where he played alongside his two brothers.[10] He made his debut with the team on 13 December 2009.[11]

International career[edit]

Tommasi played for the Italian U-21 team that won the 1996 UEFA European Championship, making four appearances for the Under-21 side between 1994 and 1996, also being picked for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, making three appearances.[12] He made his first senior side appearance for the Azzurri on 18 November 1998, under Dino Zoff, in a 2-2 home draw against Spain, but did not become a regular team member until 2001.[13]

After featuring prominently during Italy's 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Tommasi was picked by manager Giovanni Trapattoni for the Italian squad that would take part at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea; Tommasi played in all four of Italy's matches, in a round-of-16 exit. In the decisive knock-out match against co-hosts South Korea, he came close to scoring twice: first when Roma team mate Francesco Totti played him in only to have his shot blocked by Lee Woon-Jae; during extra time, Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno disallowed him a goal due to a controversial offside decision. The ten-man Italian squad was eventually defeated by a Korean golden goal.[14] Tommasi made his last appearance for Italy a 1-0 home victory over Romania, on 16 November 2003. In total, he made 25 appearances for Italy between 1998 and 2003, scoring 2 goals; his first goal for Italy came in a 2-1 home win over Morocco on 5 September 2001, and his second was scored in 2-0 away victory over Azerbaijan on 7 July 2002.[13]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Roma

Country[edit]

Italy

Individual[edit]

Post-retirement[edit]

In January 2010, together with his agent Andrea Pretti and longtime friend Werner Seeber, Tommasi set up a company in China, called Tommasi Pretti Seeber Sports Culture & Exchange Co., Ltd (TPS), aimed at creating a reliable bridge between Europe and the Asian country in the field of football.

On 9 May 2011, he became the president of the Italian Footballers' Association, succeeding historical founder Sergio Campana, in office for 43 years.[2]

Personal[edit]

  • Married to Chiara, Tommasi has five children: Beatrice, Camilla, Susanna, Samuele and Emanuele.[16]
  • A philanthropist, he is heavily involved in charity work, and arranges for footballers' disciplinary fines to go to good causes.[17]
  • He first began his involvment with charitable organisations in 1994, when he chose to undertake civil service instead of military service, as he "did not want to serve his country by holding a rifle."[16]
  • For his charitable work, he received the "Altro-pallone" prize in 2000.[18]
  • When first called up by the national side, Tommasi said he didn't deserve the honour in that moment.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UN GIOCATORE, UN MITO: Damiano Tommasi, anima candida". Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Aic, a Tommasi il timone Succederà a Campana". http://www.gazzetta.it (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Roma robbed of Tommasi; UEFA.com, 23 July 2004
  4. ^ Injury blow for Taggart; BBC Sport, 23 July 2004
  5. ^ Tommasi takes one-year option; UEFA.com, 1 September 2005
  6. ^ Tommasi's new lease of life; UEFA.com, 28 November 2005
  7. ^ Fresh starts for Tommasi and Sá Pinto
  8. ^ "QPR sign Italian veteran Tommasi". BBC Sport. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "Tommasi senza confini - Prossima tappa la Cina" [Tommasi without borders - Next step China] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  10. ^ China/ Official, Tommasi leaves Teda; Football Press, 3 November 2009
  11. ^ "Dilettante e felice Tommasi è tornato" [Ecstatic and happy, Tommasi has returned] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  12. ^ Damiano TommasiFIFA competition record
  13. ^ a b "Nazionale in Cifre - FIGC: Damiano Tommasi". http://www.figc.it. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  14. ^ World Cup: Italy out after dramatic Korean victory; Daily Mail, 18 June 2002
  15. ^ "PALLONE D'ARGENTO A EL SHAARAWY: L'ALBO D'ORO". http://www.acmilan.com (in Italian). 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Damiano Tommasi" (PDF). http://www.aiaconegliano.it (in Italian). Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Damiano Tommasi was delighted to find another worthy cause. Photograph: New Press/Getty Images New Press/Getty John Ashdown (10 September 2008). "Which clubs tell their fans the biggest porkies?". http://www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Premio Altropallone - Albo dei vincitori e motivazioni". http://altropallone.it/ (in Italian). Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  19. ^ Tommasi to lead by example; UEFA.com, 17 September 2002

External links[edit]