Darmian playing for Palermo against CSKA Moscow in 2010
|Date of birth||2 December 1989|
|Place of birth||Legnano, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|2009–2010||→ Padova (loan)||20||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 December 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Originally a centre-back, Darmian primarily plays as a full-back that can operate on either side of the pitch. He was born in the northern Italian town of Legnano before joining the A.C. Milan youth system in 2000. He spent one season on loan at Padova, before being sold to Sicilian side Palermo in 2010. In 2011, he transferred to Torino (initially on loan), before the move was made permanent in June 2012.
Internationally, he represented Italy from under-17 to under-21 youth levels. On 31 May 2014, he was given his senior international debut by Cesare Prandelli in a friendly against Ireland. He represented Italy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Darmian used to play football in the main square in Rescaldina, where his father coached the local football team. His first real break came when he was spotted by Beniamino Abate, a former goalkeeper tasked with scouting Lombardy for young talent by AC Milan. Coincidentally, Abate is also the father of AC Milan defender Ignazio Abate, Darmian's direct rival for a starting berth on the Italian national team.
Darmian started playing football with Carcor, an amateur club based in Rescaldina, whose coach was his father Giovanni. In 2000, he joined A.C. Milan's youth system. He made his first-team debut for the Rossoneri on 28 November 2006, aged only 16, in Coppa Italia against Brescia, replacing Kakha Kaladze at half-time. Six months later, on 19 May 2007, he made also his Serie A debut in a match against Udinese, coming off the bench late in the second half. During the 2007–08 season he became the leader and captain of the A.C. Milan Primavera, collecting another appearance for the first-team in Coppa Italia. The following season, the 19-year-old defender collected an additional three league appearances.
On 17 July 2009 Darmian was loaned to Serie B club Padova until the end of the 2009–10 season. He made his official debut for the club on 28 November, in a home loss against Vicenza. He went on making 20 appearances and scoring one goal, as Padova finished the season in 19th place and subsequently won the relegation play–off against Triestina.
On 11 July 2010 it was announced that Matteo Darmian would join Palermo's pre-season training camp in Austria, after Milan and the Sicilians agreed in principle about a transfer move involving him. The move, unveiled as a co-ownership bid, was officially announced by Palermo the next day. The fee was €800,000. Darmian made his debut for the rosanero on 16 September 2010 in a Europa League game against Sparta Prague (2–3), which also earned him his debut in European competition. His Palermo debut in Serie A was during the fourth game of the league, substituting Javier Pastore in a 3–1 win against Juventus. On 6 February 2011 he played his first game as a starter in the league away at Lecce (4–2), but was substituted at 33' due to injury. He finished the season with 16 appearances among Serie A, Europa League and Coppa Italia.
The co-ownership between Milan and Palermo was renewed on 23 June 2011 and on 12 July he was loaned to Torino, in Serie B. Darmian debuted for Torino on 13 August 2011 during the second round of Coppa Italia, won 1–0 against Lumezzane. On 30 October 2011, he scored his first goal for Torino in the league against Empoli, giving his team the win 2–1. In Bari-Torino, disputed on 13 November 2011, he suffered a lesion of the acetabular labrum, causing him to miss five games. Torino were promoted to Serie A at the end of the season, with Darmian contributing 33 league appearances and one in Coppa Italia.
On 20 June 2012 Palermo redeemed his 50% from Milan for €500,000 and on 5 July 2012 Darmian's return to Torino was formulised under a new co-ownership agreement for a fee of €825,000. In 2012–13, Darmian played 30 games in the league and two in Coppa Italia. On 20 June 2013 Torino redeemed his remaining 50% from Palermo.
In 2013–14 he made 37 league appearances for Torino - plus one in Coppa Italia, which concluded with Torino's qualification for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League after Parma's exclusion. On 18 May 2014, Darmian made his hundredth league appearance for Torino in a 2–2 draw away to Fiorentina.
In his first appearance of the 2014–15 season, on 7 August 2014, Darmian scored his first goal on the international stage during the second leg of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League against Sweden's Brommapojkarna (4–0).
After playing for Italy at under-17 and under-18 levels, he was called up to the under-19, led by Francesco Rocca in July 2008. At the UEFA European U-19 Championship he played a starter, always in the role of a right full-back. In 2009, he took part in the Mediterranean Games, playing seven games with the Italy under-20. On 25 March 2009, he made his debut with the Italy U-21 in a friendly match against Austria (2–2), played in Vienna. From 10 to 12 March 2014, he was called up to the senior national team by coach Cesare Prandelli as part of an internship to evaluate young players ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, confirmed on the next meeting between 14 and 15 April.
Given his excellent season with Torino, on 13 May 2014, he was included in the list of 30 provisional players for the 2014 World Cup. He made his debut for the Azzurri on 31 May 2014, at age 24, playing as a right-back in a friendly match with Ireland (0–0) held in London. The following day, he was included in the list of 23 players selected for the World Cup. On 14 June, he made his debut at the World Cup, playing as a starter in Italy's opening game against England, won 2–1. He also played the next two games against Costa Rica and Uruguay, both lost 1–0 with Italy failing to qualify for the next round.
Style of play
Although he started his career as a centre-back, in recent years Darmian has played as a dynamic fullback on either flank; although he prefers the right. He is known for his good quality of offensive and defensive play, his tactical awareness, his pace, and his stamina, attributes which have led him to be compared to legendary Italian fullback Antonio Cabrini. In 2012–13, Darmian made the most tackles per game (5.3) across Europe's top five leagues.
- Milan: 2006–07
- UEFA Super Cup (1):
- Milan: 2007
Updated 14 December 2014.
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- Profile at official club website (Italian)
- Profile at Assocalciatori.it (Italian)
- Profile at EmozioneCalcio.it (Italian)
- International Caps at FIGC.com (Italian)