||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
|Date of birth||23 August 1971|
|Place of birth||Besana in Brianza, Italy|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|1990–1991||→ Padova (loan)||28||(5)|
|1992||Italy Olympic Team||5||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Demetrio Albertini (born 23 August 1971) is a former professional Italian football midfielder who has been considered as one of the legends of AC Milan of 90s and the fundamental player for the Italian national team of the same period. He spent most of his career with AC Milan of the Italian Serie A, winning five Serie A titles and two UEFA Champions League titles with that club. He also played for FC Barcelona in the Spanish League before retiring winning La Liga that year.
Albertini, born in Besana in Brianza, province of Monza e Brianza, emerged as a product of AC Milan's youth system, and went on to spend 14 highly successful years with the club after debuting as a 17-year-old in 1989. He spent part of the 1990/91 season on loan at Padova Calcio, but established himself in the Milan side in 1991/92 and went on to make almost 300 appearances for the club, claiming three successive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994 and further scudetti in 1996 and 1999. In addition, he made 41 Champions League appearances, helping the Rossoneri reach three consecutive finals between 1993 and 1995, lifting the trophy in 1994. He also won three UEFA Super Cups.
Albertini was at Milan from 1988 to 2002, after leaving Milan, Albertini bounced around different teams; he spent 2002–03 on loan to Atlético Madrid, 2003–04 with Lazio, and started 2004–05 with Atalanta before transferring to FC Barcelona in January.
For the Italian national team, Albertini has been capped 79 times, scoring 3 goals. He made his debut on 21 December 1991. He played for his country at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, Euro 96, and Euro 2000. In 1992 he competed with the national squad at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He has also captained Italy on 6 occasions.
Albertini's key strengths as a player were his mentality, his vision but most of all his brilliant passing and long-range shooting ability. Few players were considered as good a long passer as Albertini and many have likened his ability to that of Ronald Koeman. Many football experts draw parallels between him and Andrea Pirlo, the midfield ace of European and world football, who emerged as his heir in Italian football.
1994 World Cup
Albertini's first big tournament was the USA 1994. Alongside Roberto Donadoni and Dino Baggio Albertini formed the engine machine of the Italian midfield throughout the World Cup. In the last group game against Mexico Albertini did assist Daniele Massaro. Whereas, in the semifinal he helped set up one of the goals scored by Baggio. In the final against Brazil, a balanced game led to the penalty shoot-outs; Albertini scored his penalty, but his effort did not prove to be enough, as Franco Baresi and Roberto Baggio as well as Daniele Massaro missed their penalties.
Italy went to the European championship in England as vice-world champions and many saw Sacchi's team as the key contender for the title along with Germany. However, the tournament ended in frustration for the Italians. Arrigo Sacchi's team selection for the second group game against Czech Republic was based on the presumption that, after the victory over Russia and in the light of the upcoming clash with Germany, Italy could afford playing without a series of key players including Albertini. Italy lost 2–1 to the Czech Republic and then were knocked out of the tournament following a 0–0 draw with future champions Germany, a match the "Azurri" dominated thanks to Albertini's presence in midfield. Sacchi in one of his interviews admitted the early departure was due to his mistakes and the 1996 squad was his best Italy team, even better than the one that got the second place in USA 1994.
World Cup 1998
At the 1998 World Cup, Albertini's presence was not as central and explicit as it was in the previous big tournaments, but Cesare Maldini relied on him as one of the key central midfielders. Out of the games that Italy played in France, Albertini was not involved only when Italy faced Austria in the group stage. In the quarter-final clash, Zidane-led France managed to overcome the masters of insurmountable defence only by penalties, during which Albertini's surprising failure did induce the tides to turn against "Squadra Azzurra". Ironically, the midfielder could have been the organiser of the Italian golden goal; during the extra time his superb delivery in the form of lobbed pass to Roberto Baggio left the latter alone with Barthez, but the shot went just inches away. Having won its most difficult match of the tournament, France went on to claim the nation's first World Cup title.
In December 2005, Albertini announced his retirement from professional football and expressed his hope to become a full-time coach. A Milan vs Barcelona celebration match, featuring great names past and present (such as Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, and Franco Baresi) was played on 15 March 2006. Milan won 4–2 at the San Siro, with Albertini scoring the first goal from a textbook swerving free kick.
On 18 May 2006, following the Italian football scandal involving Juventus F.C. and Luciano Moggi which led to the resignation of Franco Carraro from the Italian Football Federation presidency and the appointment of a temporary commissioner, Guido Rossi, by the National Olympic Committee, Albertini was named vice-commissioner of FIGC.
On 19 September, following the resignation of Guido Rossi, who was in the meanwhile appointed as chairman of Telecom Italia, Albertini announced his resignation too.
|2002–03||Atlético Madrid||La Liga||28||2||2||1||-||-||-||-||30||3|
|Total for Milan||293||21||41||2||65||5||7||0||406||28|
*European competitions include the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, and UEFA Super Cup
|Italy national team|
- Serie A: 5
- Coppa Italia: 1
- La Liga: 1
- FIFA World Cup: (runner-up) 1
- "AC Milan bid farewell to legend Albertini". Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Member associations –". UEFA.
- "Member associations –". UEFA.
- linkHalf-time lead 3 4 – 1. "UEFA Champions League –". UEFA.
- Pogorzelski, Kevin. "The Legend of Calcio: Demetrio Albertini".
- "Even great players can miss penalties".
- Ferrato, Luca. "Interview with Arrigo Sacchi". Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Match Report". Retrieved 3 August 2013.
- "4. Baggio's volley -1998". Article.
- "Zidane lights the blue-touch paper for France". Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Member associations –". UEFA.
- "Demetrio Albertini – International Appearances". Rsssf.com.
- Statistics at FIGC official site (Italian)