Balzaretti playing for Italy at the UEFA Euro 2012
|Full name||Federico Balzaretti|
|Date of birth||6 December 1981|
|Place of birth||Turin, Piedmont, Italy|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|1999–2001||→ Varese (loan)||44||(0)|
|2001–2002||→ Siena (loan)||16||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 September 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Federico Balzaretti (Italian pronunciation: [fedeˈriko baldzaˈretti]; born 6 December 1981) is an Italian footballer who currently plays as a left back for Italian Serie A club Roma and the Italy national football team. An offensive-minded, left-sided full-back, who is also capable of playing as a winger or as a wide-midfielder, his main attributes are his pace, stamina, and crossing ability.
Federico began his playing career at the age of 6 for hometown club Torino, playing in the various youth teams. He soon gained a reputation as an athletic wing-back with enormous potential, and was soon loaned out to provincial sides Varese and Siena between 1999-2002. A local, Federico identified with the supporters and shortly became a symbol for Torino supporters, kissing the badge under the curva at the end of games.
In 2004–05, he was heavily involved in the campaign for promotion, which brought the team back to Serie A. However, the promotion, achieved on the field, was lost during the difficult pre-season retreat after the bankruptcy of Torino Calcio. Federico, as all the other players, were released and allowed to come to agreements with other teams.
On 15 August 2005 Federico was signed by cross-city rivals Juventus on a free transfer. "It was a hard decision," Balzaretti said. "But I only moved to Juve because I was promised I would stay and not be sold. I can't lie that the thought of staying in Turin, my home, was a big factor." His first wife, Jessica, was then pregnant with daughter Lucretia, influencing his stay in Piedmont. The move was interpreted as an act of betrayal by the Torino faithful (Federico, having previously sworn eternal love for his former club) which have, ever since, booed and insulted him whenever he returns to Turin.
In 2005–06 he was part of the first team for the bianconeri, often playing as regular under orders of coach Fabio Capello, and finally winning the Serie A league. His first ever senior goal game on 17 February 2007, in Serie B, as Juventus beat Crotone 5–0.
Fiorentina and Palermo
Balzaretti was sold to Fiorentina on July 2007, but failed to adjust with the viola as he made only six appearances in the first half of the Serie A 2007-08, and was subsequently signed by Palermo in a permanent move during the January transfer market.
At Palermo, Balzaretti took the #42 jersey as a homage to his father, who was born in 1942; in his tenure with the Sicilian side, he immediately established himself as a mainstay, playing regularly for the rosanero also in the following seasons and establishing as one of the most praised Italian left backs.
On 1 August 2012, Balzaretti signed a three-year contract with Roma, for a fee of € 4.5 million. He made his debut in a 2–2 draw against Catania. He scored his first goal for Roma in Derby della capitale on 22 September 2013. Roma won the game 2-0.
After playing with a number of youth selections between 2000 and 2002, Balzaretti made his debut with the Italian national team under coach Cesare Prandelli on 17 November 2010, in a friendly match against Romania. He has been selected in the Italian team for UEFA Euro 2012, becoming the starting left-back in the third match at the group stage as Italy moved from 3–5–2 to 4–4–2. He also played the entire match against Germany as a right-back due to absences of Christian Maggio who was suspended and Ignazio Abate who was injured but stayed on the bench, conceding a penalty during stoppage time but also helping his team to reach the tournament final.
Balzaretti is married to renowned Italian ballerina Eleonora Abbagnato; their wedding took place in summer of 2011 in Palermo. Their first child, a daughter named Julia, was born on January 2012. He had also two more daughters from a previous relationship.
- As of 10 May 2014
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- "Acquistato Balzaretti" (in Italian). US Città di Palermo. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
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- "Balotelli sends Italy past Germany". UEFA.com. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Federico Balzaretti.|
- Career profile at US Palermo official website