Luca Antonini

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Luca Antonini
Luca Antonini.jpg
Antonini in 2008
Personal information
Full name Luca Antonini
Date of birth (1982-08-04) 4 August 1982 (age 32)
Place of birth Milan, Italy
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Full back
Club information
Current team
Genoa
Number 3
Youth career
1990–2001 Milan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Milan 0 (0)
2001–2002 Prato (loan) 26 (3)
2002–2003 Ancona (loan) 17 (1)
2003–2007 Sampdoria 3 (0)
2004–2005 Modena (loan) 15 (1)
2005 Pescara (loan) 22 (3)
2005–2006 Arezzo (loan) 39 (3)
2006–2007 Siena (loan) 32 (3)
2007–2008 Empoli 32 (0)
2008–2013 Milan 81 (1)
2013– Genoa 17 (1)
National team
1999 Italy U-17 1 (0)
2000–2001 Italy U-18 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 August 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 August 2010

Luca Antonini (born 4 August 1982) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Serie A club Genoa. He is fullback, equally proficient on either flank.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Antonini started his career at Milan, originally as a winger, playing for 11 years in their youth teams.[1] At the start of the 2001–02 season, he was loaned out to Serie C2 side Prato, where he made his professional debut, totalling 26 appearances and scoring 3 goals.[2] The following year, he made 17 appearances and scored one goal in his first Serie B season, during a loan spell at Ancona.[2] The team got promoted to Serie A and Antonini's contribution was significant, as he became a regular in the second half of the season.[3]

Sampdoria (2003–2004)[edit]

In June 2003 he moved to Sampdoria in a co-ownership deal with the Rossoneri,[4] for 2 million. In exchange, Ikechukwu Kalu moved to Milan in co-ownership deal for €1 million.[5] He did not get much playing time, as he served mainly as a backup winger for Gasbarroni. However, he made his Serie A debut on 14 December, in an away match against Perugia.[2]

Various loan spells (2004–2007)[edit]

The following season he returned to play in Serie B, being first loaned out to Modena and then switching, during the January transfer window, to Pescara. Still seeking for more playing time, for the 2005–06 season he moved to Arezzo on another loan spell, where he finally managed to play regularly throughout the whole season, making 39 appearances and scoring 3 goals.[6]

At the beginning of the 2006–07 season, the then 24-year-old midfielder was sent to Siena on a fourth consecutive loan spell, and faced his second Serie A season, which proved much more successful than the first one. He made 32 appearances and scored 3 goals.[2] In particular, his very first goal in the top-tier came on 26 November, in a home game against Fiorentina.[7]

Empoli (2007–2008)[edit]

Prior to the start of the 2007–08 season, Milan reclaimed Antonini for €1 million and sent him to Empoli also for €1 million, along with his future teammate Ignazio Abate (the 50% valued €0.9 million), in a new co-ownership deal.[8][9][10] With Empoli, Antonini made his debut in European competitions on 20 September 2007, in a UEFA Cup first-round game against Zürich, also scoring a penalty.[11] Despite the team being relegated, he had an extremely good season, also showing versatility when coach Alberto Malesani started to employ him as a fullback.[1]

Return to Milan (2008–2013)[edit]

Antonini (right) and Marouane Chamakh of Arsenal in action for the Emirates Cup 2010

On 9 June 2008, Antonini was brought back by Milan and included in their squad[12] for €2.9million.[13]

Antonini in action for A.C. Milan in 2012

In his first season with the Rossoneri, he did not get much playing time though, making only 11 league appearances. For the 2009–10 campaign, Milan signed new head coach Leonardo, who initially did not seem to take Antonini into much consideration. However, as the season progressed, injuries to first-string players such as Zambrotta and Jankulovski prompted the Brazilian to put him in the line-up. Antonini seized his chance and earned Leonardo's trust by constantly performing well.[14]

His valuable performances also persuaded the club to offer him a contract extension until 2014, which was signed on 11 February 2010.[15][16] He finished his second year at Milan on a high, scoring his first goal for the Rossoneri in the last match of the season, a home game against Juventus, on 15 May 2010.[17]

When new coach Massimiliano Allegri was appointed in the summer of 2010, he kept Antonini at the left back position and Luca was a regular in the starting XI for the whole of the 2010–11 season, helping Milan win their 18th Scudetto. He continued to be a regular for the 2011–12 season, where Milan disappointingly finished second to Juventus, but managed to win the Italian Supercup in the summer of 2011.

Genoa (2013–present)[edit]

At the start of the 2013–14 season, Antonini left Milan to join Genoa as part of a deal which saw midfielder Valter Birsa move the other way.[18]

International career[edit]

Antonini made up a total of 5 caps with Italy U-17 and U-18, between 1999 and 2001. However, he did not receive any further call-up at higher levels of youth international football.

Nine years later, Antonini got his first call-up for the senior team; newly appointed coach Cesare Prandelli named him in the squad for a friendly against Côte d'Ivoire, to be played on 10 August 2010.[19] However, he was left as an unused substitute.[20]

Style of play[edit]

Antonini with Robinho

Antonini is a versatile footballer who has been employed either as a winger or as a fullback, playing both on the left or the right side.[21] His speed and stamina also allows him to attack and fall back to his position with ease.[21]

Statistics[edit]

As of 7 January 2013.

Team Season Domestic
League
Domestic
Cup
European
Competition1
Other
Tournaments2
Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Prato 2001–02 26 3 0 0 4[22] 0 30 3
Ancona 2002–03 17 1 2 0 19 1
Sampdoria 2003–04 3 0 4 1 7 1
Modena 2004–05 15 1 0 0 15 1
Pescara 2005 22 3 22 3
Arezzo 2005–06 39 3 1 0 40 3
Siena 2006–07 32 3 2 0 34 3
Empoli 2007–08 32 0 2 1 2 1 36 2
Milan 2008–09 11 0 1 0 6 0 18 0
2009–10 22 1 1 0 2 0 25 1
2010–11 22 0 0 0 1 0 23 0
2011–12 20 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 24 0
2012–13 6 0 1 0 2 0 9 0
Total 81 1 3 0 17 0 0 0 111 1
Genoa 2013–14 26 2 26 2
Career Total 278 16 14 2 17 1 4 0 325 19

1European competitions include UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup
2Other tournaments include Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia Serie C

Personal life[edit]

Antonini is married to Benedetta Balleggi, whom he first met at the time he was in Prato.[23] The couple have two daughters, Sofia Vittoria and Viola Maria (b. 2010).[24]

Honours[edit]

Milan

References[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Luca Rosato (6 November 2008). "Milan, Luca Antonini: il ritorno a casa di un rossonero doc". calcioblog.it (in Italian). Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Luca Antonini". acmilan.com. Associazione Calcio Milan. Retrieved 10 February 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ A list of the league games played by Antonini that season can be found here.
  4. ^ Luca Valdiserri (17 June 2003). "Chievo costretto a cedere Roma e Inter all' attacco". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  5. ^ AC Milan Spa 2006 Annual Report (Italian)
  6. ^ "New faces, friendly faces". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 13 July 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2010. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Siena vs. Fiorentina – 26 November 2006". soccerway.com. 26 November 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  8. ^ AC Milan Spa 2007 Annual Report (Italian)
  9. ^ "Co-ownerships resolved". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 20 July 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2010. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Empoli raid Rossoneri for trio". uefa.com (Union of European Football Associations). 28 June 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  11. ^ "Empoli vs FC Zürich in UEFA Cup 2007/2008". football-lineups.com. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Comunicato ufficiale A.C. Milan". acmilan.com (in Italian) (Associazione Calcio Milan). 9 June 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2010. [dead link]
  13. ^ "AC Milan Group 2008 Annual Report". AC Milan (in Italian). ca. April 2009. Retrieved 11 June 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Olivero Giovanni Battista (8 December 2009). "Leonardo: "Antonini e Abate, una crescita che mi fa felice"". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "A.C. Milan official note". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Abate and Antonini commit to Milan". uefa.com (Union of European Football Associations). 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Great satisfaction". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 16 May 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Antonini al Genoa, Birsa al Milan". genoacfc.it (in Italian) (Genoa Cricket and Football Club). 31 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "L’Italia di Prandelli: 8 novità, tra cui Balotelli e Amauri. Torna Cassano". figc.com (in Italian) (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio). 6 August 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Italy v Ivory Coast". eurosport.yahoo.com. Eurosport. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "The Right Spirit". acmilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 18 September 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2010. [dead link]
  22. ^ "A.C. Prato stagione 2001–2002". TifosiPrato.TifoNet.it (in Italian). Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  23. ^ "L'altra metà di... Luca Antonini". tuttomercatoweb.com (in Italian). 6 June 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Congratulations to the Luca Antonini family!". ACMilan.com (Associazione Calcio Milan). 22 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010. [dead link]

External links[edit]