Graziano Pellè

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Graziano Pellè
Graziano Pellè portret.jpg
Pellè at Feyenoord in 2013
Personal information
Full name Graziano Pellè[1]
Date of birth (1985-07-15) 15 July 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth San Cesario di Lecce, Italy
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Southampton
Number 19
Youth career
2001–2004 Lecce
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Lecce 12 (0)
2005 Catania (loan) 15 (0)
2006 Crotone (loan) 17 (6)
2006–2007 Cesena (loan) 37 (10)
2007–2011 AZ 78 (14)
2011–2013 Parma 12 (1)
2012 Sampdoria (loan) 12 (4)
2012–2013 Feyenoord (loan) 29 (27)
2013–2014 Feyenoord 28 (23)
2014– Southampton 16 (7)
National team
2004–2005 Italy U20 10 (7)
2005–2007 Italy U21 11 (0)
2008 Italy Olympic 5 (0)
2014– Italy 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 December 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13 October 2014

Graziano Pellè (Italian pronunciation: [ɡratˈtsjano pelˈlɛ]; born 15 July 1985) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for English club Southampton and the Italy national team. He is known as a strong striker who excels in the air, with powerful and accurate finishing ability and accurate penalty-kick taking. These attributes have led him to be compared to compatriot Luca Toni.[3]

He began his career at local Serie A club U.S. Lecce, and was loaned to three lower-division sides before moving to the Dutch club AZ in 2007. He won the Eredivisie title in his second of four seasons at the club. After brief spells back in Italy with Parma and Sampdoria he returned to the Dutch top flight, where his consistent scoring for Feyenoord earned Pellè an £8 million transfer to Southampton in July 2014.

Pellè represented Italy at under-20 and under-21 level. He also played for their Olympic team in 2008, but was not selected for the tournament. In 2014, he scored on his senior international debut.

Club career[edit]

Lecce[edit]

Born in San Cesario di Lecce, Province of Lecce, Pellè started playing for U.S. Lecce's youth teams, winning two Campionato Primavera titles and the 2002 Coppa Italia Primavera. He made his Serie A debut on 11 January 2004 in 1–2 home defeat against Bologna F.C. 1909, making a total of two appearances in the season.

In January 2005 Pellè was loaned out to Catania Calcio in Serie B, being regularly used but failing to find the net. In the summer took part in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship with the under-20 team, scoring four goals in an eventual quarterfinal exit,[4] and returned to Lecce for the 2005–06 campaign, only to be loaned again in the winter transfer window, again to the second division, now to F.C. Crotone.

In 2006–07 Pellè was yet again loaned to a level two club, this time to A.C. Cesena, where he had a breakthrough year with ten goals.

AZ[edit]

In July 2007, Pellè lost all ties to Lecce and signed for Dutch outfit AZ. He stated in an interview that he had a choice of staying at Lecce, who would loan him to U.S. Città di Palermo, but chose the Alkmaar club instead because of its willingness to give chances to young players. However, his debut was largely unfruitful, as he struggled to replace PSV Eindhoven-bound Danny Koevermans, and finished his first season with just three goals in 27 games (16 starts).[5]

On 28 December 2008, Pellè scored the winning goal in a 1–0 win against NEC Nijmegen.[6] In February of the following year he netted twice in a 3–0 home success over FC Groningen,[7] but was overall sparingly used by the North Holland side over the course of four Eredivisie seasons, being released in June 2011.

Pellè among the AZ players celebrating their Eredivisie win in 2009

Parma[edit]

In early July 2011, Parma F.C. confirmed through its official website that Pellè had signed a multiyear contract with the team.[8] He scored one goal during his time at Parma, netting their second in a come from behind 3–3 draw with his former club Lecce on 18 December 2011.[9] On 31 January 2012 he signed with U.C. Sampdoria in the second division, on loan, scoring four goals in 16 appearances for the club to help them earn promotion back to the Serie A.[10]

Feyenoord[edit]

For the 2012–13 season, still owned by Parma, Pellè returned to the Netherlands, joining Feyenoord and becoming the first Italian to play for the club.[11] He scored 11 goals in his first ten games, including a last-minute strike in a 2–2 home draw against AFC Ajax[12] and both goals in a 2–0 success over RKC Waalwijk, also at De Kuip.[13] On 23 December, he scored twice more as Feyenoord beat Groningen 2–1 in the last game of the Eredivisie season before the winter break.[14]

Pellè in training with Feyenoord in November 2012

On 5 January 2013, Pellè signed a four-year contract with the Rotterdam club, effective as of 1 July.[15] His first goal since securing a permanent move to Feyenoord came on 30 January, scoring on a pass from Jean-Paul Boëtius as the Rotterdam club eventually fell to a 2–1 defeat to PSV.[16] On 28 April, he scored a first-half brace as Feyenoord notched an impressive 6–0 victory over Heracles.[17] At the end of the campaign he had netted 27 league goals, ranking second in the domestic charts[18] and also surpassing the recent records of Italian scorers in a league outside the country Luca Toni (FC Bayern Munich) and Christian Vieri (Atlético Madrid) in the process.[19]

Pellé was also famous for his retro haircut among Feyenoord fans. In the home games many fans showed the same haircut as Pellé and there are still some tutorials on YouTube that teach how to arrange his hairstyle. [20]

Pellè netted all three goals for Feyenoord on 25 August 2013, notching a 3–1 win over NAC Breda, and securing the club's first points of the new Eredivisie season.[21] He opened the scoring for Feyenoord in the seventh minute of their Europa League second leg play-off match against Kuban Krasnodar to bring the sides level at 1–1 on aggregate but the Dutch side conceded twice and fell to a 3–1 aggregate defeat.[22] He scored another hat-trick for Feyenoord on 29 September 2013, scoring with each foot and from the penalty spot as the Rotterdam side defeated ADO Den Haag 4–2.[23] He scored twice more on 1 December, netting in either half as Feyenoord defeated rivals PSV 3–1.[24]

On 8 February 2014, Pellè scored twice and also missed a penalty as Feyenoord came from a goal down to defeat N.E.C. 5–1.[25] On 2 March, he opened the scoring with a header from a Bruno Martins Indi cross but retrospectively received a red card, for an elbow to the face of Joel Veltman, and a four-match ban as Feyenoord fell 2–1 to rivals Ajax.[26][27] After sitting out the ban, Pellè returned to the team on 6 April and scored a brace in Feyenoord's 2–0 win over RKC Waalwijk.[28] His fiftieth and last league goal for Feyenoord came on 27 April, nodding in a Ruud Vormer corner as Feyenoord defeated Cambuur 5–1.[29]

Southampton[edit]

On 12 July 2014, it was announced that Pellè had signed a three-year deal, for a reported ₤8 million, with Southampton of the Premier League, reuniting him with his former AZ and Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman.[30][31] He made his competitive debut for the club on 17 August in their first game of the new league season, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2–1 defeat at Liverpool.[32] On 26 August, he scored his first competitive goal for the club in a 2–0 victory over Millwall in the Second Round of the League Cup.[33] His first league goal for the club came four days later in a 3–1 away win over West Ham.[34] He scored twice more in Southampton's next match, a 4–0 home win over Newcastle United on 13 September to secure their second league win in as many games.[35] On 27 September, Pellè won a match against Queens Park Rangers with an overhead kick deemed "world class" by opposing manager Harry Redknapp.[36]

Pellè won the Premier League Player of the Month award for September, with Koeman named the Manager of the Month,[37] and he followed this up with two goals in an 8–0 victory over Sunderland on 18 October.[38] He scored another brace in a League Cup victory over Stoke City on 29 October, helping his side reach the quarter finals of the competition for the first time in ten years. These were his eighth and ninth goals in his last twelve games.[39]

International career[edit]

After a successful loan spell with Cesena, Pellè earned a call-up to the Italian U21 side at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship where he collected three appearances, all as a substitute. In the 5th-place playoff match against Portugal, he scored the first penalty kick in the shootout win, with a Panenka-style penalty.[40] The win secured Italy the final European spot at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.[40] He was part of the preparation for the tournament but was ultimately not selected to the final 22-man squad for the Olympics.[41]

On 4 October 2014, he received his first call up to the Italy senior side for the Azzurri's Euro 2016 qualifying matches against Azerbaijan and Malta,[42] at the expense of Mario Balotelli.[43] He made his debut as a starter away to Malta, scoring the only goal of the game from close range after a corner in the 29th minute.[44]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 13 October 2014 Ta' Qali National Stadium, Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2016 Qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

AZ
Feyenoord

International[edit]

Italy U21

Individual[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 15 December 2014[47]
Team Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lecce 2003–04 2 0 - - - - 2 0
2005–06 10 0 1 0 - - 11 0
Total 12 0 1 0 13 0
Catania 2004–05 15 0 - - - - 15 0
Total 15 0 15 0
Crotone 2005–06 17 6 - - - - 17 6
Total 17 6 17 6
Cesena 2006–07 38 10 2 1 - - 40 11
Total 38 10 2 1 40 11
AZ 2007–08 27 3 1 0 4 1 32 4
2008–09 20 3 3 1 - - 23 4
2009–10 13 2 1 0 2 0 16 2
2010–11 18 6 2 0 - - 20 6
Total 78 14 7 1 6 1 91 16
Parma 2011–12 11 1 - - - - 11 1
2012–13 1 0 - - - - 1 0
Total 12 1 12 1
Sampdoria 2011–12 12 4 - - - - 12 4
Total 12 4 12 4
Feyenoord 2012–13 29 27 4 2 - - 33 29
2013–14 28 23 3 2 2 1 33 26
Total 57 50 7 4 2 1 66 55
Southampton 2014–15 16 7 3 3 - - 19 10
Total 16 7 3 3 19 10
Career Total 257 92 20 9 8 2 285 103

Personal life[edit]

In addition to Italian, Pellè can speak French, Spanish and English fluently.[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Legendary of Southampton" (PDF). Premier League. p. 16. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "GRAZIANO PELLÈ". Southampton F.C. 
  3. ^ "Il caso. Perchè Pellè potrebbe finire in viola". Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Graziano PellèFIFA competition record
  5. ^ Exclusive: Graziano Pelle happy with life In Alkmaar; Goal.com, 3 March 2009
  6. ^ AZ Alkmaar 1–0 NEC Nijmegen; ESPN Soccernet, 28 December 2008
  7. ^ AZ Alkmaar 3–0 FC Groningen; ESPN Soccernet, 28 February 2009
  8. ^ Ufficiale: Il Parma prende Borini, Pellè e Sansone (Official: Parma gets Borini, Pellè and Sansone); Tutto Mercato, 2 July 2011 (Italian)
  9. ^ "Parma 3–3 Lecce". Soccerway. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sampdoria return to Serie A". Eurosport. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Graziano Pellè is a Rickie Lambert-style late bloomer for Southampton". The Guardian. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Pellè schiet Feyenoord in extra tijd naast Ajax (Pellè saves Feyenoord in injury time against Ajax); NRC, 28 October 2012 (Dutch)
  13. ^ Feyenoord 2–0 RKC Waalwijk; ESPN FC, 1 December 2012
  14. ^ "Feyenoord vs. Groningen 2–1". Soccerway. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "Feyenoord bindt Pellè voor vier jaar" [Feyenoord gets Pellè for four years] (in Dutch). Feyenoord's official website. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "PSV vs. Feyenoord 2–1". Soccerway. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Feyenoord 6:0 Heracles". Goal. 28 April 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pellè capocannoniere in Olanda: è il quinto italiano topscorer all'estero" [Pellè capocannoniere in the Netherlands: the fifth Italian top scorer abroad] (in Italian). Leo Sport. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord) supera el récord de Vieri y Luca Toni" [Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord) surpasses Vieri and Luca Toni record] (in Spanish). 91 Minutos. April 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Graziano Pellé, an Italian goal-machine for Southampton". SerieAddicted.com. 15 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Assertive Feyenoord Roll Over NAC Breda". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 25 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  22. ^ "Feyenoord 1:2 Krasnodar". UEFA. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Feyenoord Move Within Two Points of Leaders". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Feyenoord 3:1 PSV". Goal. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Dominant Display Sees Off N.E.C.". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  26. ^ "Feyenoord Fall to Ajax Defeat". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "The Story of Graziano Pellè: Hero or Villain?". Football Oranje. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  28. ^ "Pellè Grabs Brace on Return". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Feyenoord Secure Second Place in Style". Feyenoord Rotterdam. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Graziano Pelle: Southampton sign Italian striker from Feyenoord". BBC Sport. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Southampton transfer news". The Independent. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "Liverpool 2–1 Southampton". BBC Sport. 17 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Millwall 0–2 Southampton". BBC Sport. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Morgan Schneiderlin scored twice as Southampton picked up a first Premier League win under Ronald Koeman with a comfortable victory at West Ham.". BBC Sport. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  35. ^ "Striker Graziano Pelle scored twice as Southampton overwhelmed a poor Newcastle side at St Mary's Stadium.". BBC Sport. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014. 
  36. ^ "Southampton 2–1 QPR: Harry Redknapp rues Pelle goal". BBC Sport. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  37. ^ "Southampton's Ronald Koeman is named manager of the month". BBC Sport. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  38. ^ Reddy, Luke (18 October 2014). "Southampton 8 – 0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  39. ^ "Stoke 2 − 3 Southampton". BBC Sport. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  40. ^ a b "Ten-man Italy claim Olympic prize". UEFA. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  41. ^ "Italy 2008 Olympic Football Squad". Soccer Lens. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  42. ^ "Pellè’s form rewarded with first Italy call-up". Southampton FC. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  43. ^ Skillen, Charlie (13 October 2014). "Graziano Pelle set for Italy debut against Malta as Azzurri boss Antonio Conte defends Mario Balotelli snub". Daily Mail. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  44. ^ Lucas, Jim (13 October 2014). "Dream Italy bow for Saints star Pellè". Southampton F.C. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  45. ^ "Southampton's Ronald Koeman is named manager of the month". BBC Sport. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  46. ^ Graziano Pellè awarded Player of the Year prize by René van der Gijp, Voetbal International, 20 May 2013
  47. ^ "G. Pellè". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  48. ^ Graziano Pelle over komst naar Feyenoord (Graziano Pelle on coming to Feyenoord); at YouTube (Dutch)

External links[edit]