|Full name||Gabriel Alejandro Paletta|
|Date of birth||15 February 1986|
|Place of birth||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 March 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
Gabriel Alejandro Paletta (born 15 February 1986) is an Italian Argentine central defender who currently plays for Milan in Italy's Serie A and the Italy national team. Paletta is primarily known for his aerial ability and for being an attentive man-marker.
Born in Argentina to parents of Italian descent, Paletta represented his birth nation at the under-20 level, participating in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. He started all seven matches as Argentina won the title. In 2014, Paletta was called up to the Italian national team and made his debut in a friendly against Spain.
Paletta came through the youth divisions of Club Atlético Banfield and reached the first team in 2005. When Banfield qualified for the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores, they altered their 25-man squad for the event to include Paletta and immediately threw him into action against the Colombian team Independiente Medellín. Paletta played well and Banfield progressed, but Paletta was to play no further part in the tournament after being called up to the Argentina Under-20 team to participate in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship.
In February 2006, Paletta agreed to sign with Liverpool and eventually signed a four-year contract on 4 July 2006. Paletta became the second Argentine to play for the Merseyside club, after Mauricio Pellegrino. Paletta's first appearance for Liverpool came in a pre-season friendly against Wrexham in July. Paletta scored his first goal for Liverpool during a 2006–07 Football League Cup third round 4–3 win against Reading on 25 October 2006. Paletta debuted for Liverpool in the 2006–07 Premier League season in a 4–0 away win against Wigan Athletic on 2 December. He was substituted onto the field for Sami Hyypiä in the 61st minute. Paletta would go on to make just two more league appearances in the for Liverpool. Paletta debuted in the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League in a group stage fixture in a 3–2 away defeat against Galatasaray on 5 December. He was substituted off of the field in the 66th minute for Luis García. Paletta played a full 90 minutes of Liverpool's 2006–07 Football League Cup quarter-final match, a 6–3 home defeat against Arsenal on 9 January 2007. By the time that Paletta had made just eight appearances for Liverpool in all competitions, it was reported on 9 July that Paletta would be loaned to Spanish club Levante in order to gain some valuable first-team experience as Levante had expressed their interest signing Paletta on loan deal for the whole of 2007–08 season. Although Rafael Benitez had agreed to loaning the defender, the loan deal was not established. Liverpool went on to reach the final of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, losing 2–1 to A.C. Milan on 23 May 2007. On 26 August, it had been officially reported that Liverpool had agreed for Paletta to sign with Boca Juniors, having welcomed the arrival of Argentine Emiliano Insúa.
In August 2007, Paletta joined Boca Juniors where he was handed the number No. 29 shirt. He debuted for Boca Juniors in the Torneo Apertura of the 2007–08 Primera División season on 29 August 2007. One month later, Paletta scored his first goal for Boca Juniors in the 84th minute of a 2–2 home draw with Gimnasia de Jujuy on 23 September. He participated in his first Superclásico, which resulted in a 2–0 win to River Plate at the Estadio Monumental, on 7 October. Paletta played a full 90 minutes of Boca's 2007 FIFA Club World Cup 1–0 semi-final win against Étoile du Sahel on 12 December. Four days later, he played a full 90 minutes of the final which resulted in a 4–2 win for European champions A.C. Milan on 16 December. During the 2008 Torneo de Verano, Paletta scored with header from a Jesús Dátolo free-kick in the 3–2 Copa Revancha loss against River Plate. Paletta's first appearance in the 2008 Copa Libertadores came in a 1–1 away draw against Venezuelan club Maracaibo on 20 February. He received his first red card during the Torneo Clausura in a 1–1 home draw against Independiente on 9 March. Paletta scored his first Copa Libertadores goal after 9 minutes in Boca's last group stage fixture, a 3–0 home win against Maracaibo on 22 April. The 3–0 win meant that Boca advanced to the 2008 Copa Libertadores knockout stages. Paletta scored his second league goal for Boca in a 2–1 home victory against Racing Club de Avellaneda on 17 May. Paletta participated in the Copa Libertadores knockout stage fixtures until Boca were eliminated by Fluminense in the semi-finals. He scored his third league goal for Boca, with a header in the 40th minute of the first-half, in a 6–2 home victory against Tigre on 22 June.
Paletta played in both of Boca's 2008 Recopa Sudamericana matches, defeating Arsenal de Sarandí 5–3 on aggregate, winning 3–1 on 13 August and drawing 2–2 on 27 August. On 11 November, it was reported that MRI scans confirmed that Paletta had torn the cruciate ligament in his right knee after a 1–0 away victory against Arsenal de Sarandí on 9 November, and was ruled out of play for six months. Boca's club doctor, Jose Veiga, had saw that Paletta had a knee twist and ordered him to undergo some scans after the 1–0 victory against Arsenal. Boca Juniors went on to claim the Torneo Apertura title of the 2008–09 Argentine Primera División season. Paletta returned in a 2–1 home win against Arsenal de Sarandí on 17 May, playing a full 90 minutes of the match. One week later, Paletta suffered an ankle sprain and was substituted off of the field in the 15th minute for Gastón Sauro in a 2–0 away loss against Vélez Sársfield on 24 May. Boca had also participated in the 2009 Copa Libertadores, reaching the knockout stages of the tournament where they were eliminated by Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting.
In August 2009, it was reported that a deal with Paletta and Italian club U.S. Città di Palermo fell through due to a disagreement of Paletta's price. Greek club Panathinaikos were also chasing his signature. Paletta played a full 90 minutes of Boca Juniors 2009 Copa Sudamericana First Stage match, a 1–1 draw with Vélez Sársfield on 20 August. Paletta scored an own goal for Boca in the 73rd minute, levelling the scores. He again played a full 90 minutes of the second-leg, where Boca Juniors were defeated 1–0 on 16 September. The 2–1 aggregate loss saw Boca Juniors eliminated from the competition. Paletta received his first red card of the 2009–10 Argentine Primera División season in a 4–2 away loss against Newell's Old Boys on 6 February. His first goal of the 2009–2010 season came in a 2–1 home defeat against Huracán on 9 May. Paletta scored in the 50th minute with a right footed shot. Paletta's last game for Boca Juniors came in a 3–0 away defeat against his former side, Banfield, on 14 May, where he scored an own goal in the 67th minute.
On Tuesday 6 July 2010, Serie A club Parma FC announced via their website the acquisition outright of Gabriel Paletta from Boca Juniors. He was a regular in the side, seeing off the challenge of Massimo Paci and partnering Alessandro Lucarelli. This partnership continued for the first half of the following season under Franco Colomba, but Roberto Donadoni's arrival in January 2012 saw a switch to three defenders and Paletta enjoyed a fine end to the season.
In August 2012, Paletta signed a three-year extension to the contract he signed with the club in 2010. It ties him to the club until 2017.
In 2005, Paletta was selected for the Argentina U-20 team to participate in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He started in all seven games of the tournament, playing in the heart of the Argentine defence, alongside Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero. Argentina went on to win the tournament and Paletta's performances attracted the attention of Liverpool.
In possession of an Italian passport due to his ancestry from Crotone, in Calabria, where his great-grandfather Vincenzo emigrated from, Paletta is also eligible for the Italian national team. In March 2014, he was called up to Italy's squad for a friendly against Spain. Paletta earned his first cap on 5 March, playing the full 90 minutes in the 0–1 loss against the Spaniards.
On 1 June of that year, Paletta was named in Italy's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He made his competitive debut in the team's opening match, starting alongside Andrea Barzagli in central defence as the Azzurri beat England in Manaus.
- As of 22 March 2015
|Boca Juniors||2007–08||Primera División||21||4||–||7||1||2[a]||0||30||5|
- "Palermo, Falcioni: "Paletta? A 18 anni era già un veterano"". Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Vickery, Tim (15 February 2006). "Tim Vickery column". BBC News.
- "Liverpool 4–3 Reading". BBC News. 25 October 2006.
- "Levante look to loan Paletta". Sky Sports.
- "Paletta al Parma / Mercoledì 7 luglio 2010 la presentazione" (in Italian). Parma F.C. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
- "Paletta blindato: sarà gialloblù fino al 2017" [Paletta tied down: he'll be Gialloblù until 2017]. Gazzetta di Parma (in Italian) (Parma). 28 August 2012.
- "Gabriel Paletta ceduto a titolo definitivo al Milan." (in Italian). Parma FC. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- "PALETTA JOINS MILAN". AC Milan. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- "Paletta, l'ultimo degli oriundi "Il desiderio del mio bisnonno"". http://www.repubblica.it/. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "New Italy faces for Spain friendly". Football Italia. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
- "Spain vs. Italy 1:0". flashscore.com. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- "World Cup 2014: Italy omit Giuseppe Rossi from final squad". BBC Sport. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "England 1-2 Italy". BBC. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
- "Boca perdió ante Tigre pero se consagró campeón". AFA.com (official site of the Argentine Soccer Association). 23 December 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gabriel Paletta.|
- LFChistory.net player profile
- (Spanish) Argentine Primera statistics
- Gabriel Paletta career statistics at Soccerbase
- Official Boca Juniors Profile