|Date of birth||14 February 1981|
|Place of birth||Rimini, Italy|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Centre Midfielder|
|2001–2002||→ Bologna (loan)||32||(0)|
|2003–2004||→ Brescia (loan)||29||(1)|
|2004–2007||→ Chievo (loan)||89||(9)|
|2011–2012||→ Atalanta (loan)||11||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 January 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Matteo Brighi (Italian pronunciation: [matˈtɛo ˈbriɡi]; born 14 February 1981) is an Italian footballer who plays for Serie A club Sassuolo. He was named Serie A Young Footballer of the Year in 2002 and is noted for his stamina, tackling, and aerial abilities.
In 2004, Juventus bought back Brighi's rights for a €11.5 million fee and sold them to Roma as part of the deal for Emerson for €16 million. He signed a 5-year contract worth €0.93 million in gross annually.
However Brighi was then immediately sent out on loan to Chievo for three seasons. That season Roma also signed central midfielder Simone Perrotta from the Verona side. Chievo would receive prize money from Roma per appearances of Brighi, with each 5 appearances worth €80,000. He played for Chievo at the UEFA Champions League 2006–07 third qualifying round and twice at UEFA Cup 2006–07 first round. In his last season, he formed the midfield line with Paolo Sammarco and Franco Semioli for over 20 matches. Although Chievo relegated in June, their performance earned each a transfer to a different club.
In 2007, Brighi returned to Roma. On 25 July 2008, he signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until June 2012. His annual gross salary was increased because of this; he earned €1.3M in 2008–09, and this will increase to €1.6M in 2011–12.
In a 20 November 2008 interview with La Repubblica, Brighi called Luciano Spalletti “the best I’ve ever had in terms of managing the group, and I’ve had some great ones like Guidolin and Prandelli.” Around the same time he told Sky Italia, “I like to work, not talk. Other players talk and sell themselves, certainly better than I do. I don’t blame them for it. It’s just not me." In the same interview, he was asked who his favourite players were growing up and who he admires in football. "As a boy I loved Roberto Mancini when he was at Sampdoria, even though he played in a different position than I do. Now, as everyone knows, Damiano Tommasi inspires me. It's an honour to be compared to a great player and a great person like him." Tommasi has said of Brighi: “He’s more talented than I am, I just got the chance to play in a great team and win something special. I hope Matteo gets the same chance.”
On 9 November 2008, Italian National Team Manager Marcello Lippi, who worked with Brighi at Juventus, was quoted in Rome newspaper Il Romanista as saying, "My memories of Brighi are optimal. From the human point of view he is a splendid boy, and from the technical point of view he is one of those diligent midfielders that every trainer would want to have. To my warning, at the beginning of his career, he was praised so excessively that too many expectations were created around him."
In 2012 Brighi joined Torino on trial before transferring to the newly promoted Serie B side on loan. On 26 August 2012 he made his league debut for Torino against Siena, ending 2-2. A week later, he scored his first goal in the Torino shirt against Siena (2-0) with the match ultimately ending 3-0 for Torino. He scored again on 13 January 2013 after tapping in a cross from Danilo D'Ambrosio in Torino-Siena 3-2. After a good season at Torino which saw the club survive relegation, Brighi returned to Roma.
However on 8 July 2013 Brighi was transferred to Torino outright on an annual contract with the option for a second. On 22 September 2013 he scored Torino's first goal of the season during the first day of the season against Sassuolo, won 2-0. On 19 January 2014 he scored his second goal of the season, this time away to Sassuolo, 2-0.
On 30 January 2014 Brighi was transferred to Serie A side Sassuolo.
At youth level, he played at 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, formed the midfield with Manuele Blasi, Andrea Pirlo and Marco Marchionni. He also won the 2004 edition and qualified to Olympics.
Brighi's debut for Italy came when he started the friendly match against Slovenia in 2002, when he was 21. However, he has been called up once again by Coach Marcello Lippi for 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland in 2009. On 28 March 2009, Brighi was put on as a substitute in the 80th minute against Montenegro, playing for his first time since 2002. Four days later, he was chosen for the starting selection in Italy's draw with Ireland.
Brighi was called up again to play in Italy's pre-Confederations Cup friendly against Northern Ireland. Brighi came on as a second half substitute for Gennaro Gattuso, and provided many spectacular passes, one of which lead to a goal. Although Brighi played magnificently, he was not selected in Italy's 23-man roster for the Confederations Cup.
Brighi gave perhaps his most revealing interview to website romanews.eu on 13 January 2009. He discussed many topics, including the pressures today's footballers face and their bad decisions off the field, his admiration for Gennaro Gattuso ("My reference as a player, he's won the World Cup and many trophies with Milan"), making it a priority to not live a lifestyle of excess in the current economic crisis as people lose their jobs daily, his hobbies ("dinners with friends, cinema, concerts, novels"), when he realized his life had changed as a Roma player ("I've been here a year, but two months ago my life was different. Nobody stopped me on the street and said, 'Matteo, you are a phenomenon!'"), his best friends at the club ("Tonetto and Perrotta, two people who know how to detach from football, but I often eat meals with Aquilani, De Rossi and Okaka"), being single but dreaming of starting a family one day, the fact that he does not see himself as unique ("I'm not the only player that goes home and reads a book instead of going to a disco all night"), and above all his intention to end his career playing for Rimini ("When I went away, I promised I would go back one day. And that day will come").
His younger brother Marco is also a professional footballer.
- As of 31 January 2014.
|2004/05||Chievo Verona||Serie A||35||1||1||0||–||36||1|
|Italy national team|
- "Agreements with Parma A.C." (PDF) (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 30 August 2002. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Reports and Financial Statements" (In PDF file). Juventus.com. 30 June 2004.
- "Agreements with A.S. Roma S.p.A." (PDF). Juventus F.C. 31 July 2004. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Roma pair go out on loan". UEFA.com. 16 August 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2012
- "APPROVAZIONE SITUAZIONE MENSILE AL 31 LUGLIO 2004" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 31 August 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- "PROLUNGATO IL CONTRATTO ECONOMICO PER LE PRESTAZIONI SPORTIVE DEL CALCIATORE MATTEO BRIGHI" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 25 July 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Prolungato il contratto economico per le prestazioni sportive del calciatore Matteo Brighi" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 7 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Matteo Brighi". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Profile at Lega Calcio (Italian)