|Full name||Cristian Zaccardo|
|Date of birth||21 December 1981|
|Place of birth||Formigine, Italy|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2000–2001||→ Spezia (loan)||28||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 November 2015.
Cristian Zaccardo, Ufficiale OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkristjan dzakˈkardo], born 21 December 1981) is an Italian footballer who plays as a centre back for Serie A club Carpi, although he is also capable of playing as a full-back or in midfield. He began his club career with Italian club Bologna in 2000, and remained with the club until 2004, aside from a loan spell with Spezia. He subsequently moved to Palermo, where he came to prominence during his four seasons at the club. In 2008, he moved to German club VfL Wolfsburg for a season, where he won the 2008–09 Bundesliga title. He returend to Italy the following season, joining Parma, and in 2013 he moved to Milan, before joining Carpi in 2015. At international level, he represented the Italy national football team on 17 occasions between 2004 and 2007, scoring a goal; he was a member of the Italian side that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
A product of the Bologna youth system, Zaccardo was promoted to the first team in 2000, but was sent on loan to Spezia for the 2000–01 season. He debuted in the Bologna first team in 2001 under the direction of coach Francesco Guidolin, immediately becoming a regular for the rossoblu and Italy's under-21 national team. He left Bologna in 2004 to join his former coach Guidolin in Palermo. He was a regular starter for Palermo, and made his breakthrough with the club, appearing in 142 league matches and scoring eight goals.
After a season spent in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg, in which he helped the club to its first ever Bundesliga title, he rejoined Guidolin at Parma in August 2009. In his three-and-a-half seasons with the side, Zaccardo appeared in 118 league matches and scored ten goals.
On 24 January 2013, Zaccardo was signed by Milan, part of a cashless swap in which Djamel Mesbah moved to Parma. Towards the end of the 2014 summer transfer window, Milan had a deal in place with Parma in which him and Jonathan Biabiany would swap clubs, but the former refused the move. On 1 February 2015, Zaccardo scored his first goal for Milan in a 3–1 home win against Parma.
Zaccardo represented the Italy under-16 squad at the age of 15, also takign part in the 1998 UEFA European Under-16 Championship held in Scotland. During the tournament, he scored the decisive goal in the semi-final which allowed Italy to progress to the final of the tournament, where they were defeated by the Republic of Ireland. In 2001, he was a member of the Italian under-23 team that won a silver medal at the Mediterranean Games held in Tunis. Zaccardo has also represented Italy at the under-21 level, winning the 2004 UEFA European Under-21 Championship under manager Claudio Gentile.
Zaccardo made his senior international debut for Italy under Marcello Lippi on 17 November 2004 in Italy's 1–0 home friendly victory over Finland. He began to be deployed with more frequency, and on 8 October 2005, he scored his first international goal in a 1–0 home win over Slovenia in Palermo in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying match; the victory allowed Italy to qualify for the upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Zaccardo was included in Italy's 23-man roster for the tournament and made three appearances in the final competition. He started the first two matches of the group stage, but he scored an unfortunate own goal off an attempted clearance following a free-kick in the azzurri's second match, which ended in a 1–1 draw against the United States; this was one of only two goals Italy conceded throughout the tournament. He made one more appearance, his third during the tournament, coming on as a substitute in Italy's 3–0 win over Ukraine in the quarter-finals, as Italy went on to win the 2006 World Cup. Due to his mistake during the World Cup, he was often overlooked by the national team since the tournament's conclusion, and only made two more appearances under Roberto Donadoni. He made his final appearance for Italy in a 2–0 friendly win over South Africa on 17 October 2007. In total, Zaccardo made 17 appearances for Italy between 2004 and 2007, scoring 1 goal.
Style of play
A quick, tactically versatile, and hard-working right-footed footballer, in his prime, Zaccardo was known in particular for his stamina, and positional sense as a footballer, as well as his intelligence and versatility, which enabled him to play in several positions in defence and midfield along the right flank throughout his career, despite not being the most accurate crosser of the ball. Although he was primarily a right-sided full-back, he was also capable of playing as a wing-back, or in midfield, as a winger, or even as a central or defensive midfielder, a role in which he was capable of starting attacking plays after winning back possession; during his time at Parma, his manager, Francesco Guidolin, described him as a "centromediano metodista", due to his playing style in this position as a deep-lying playmaker. As he has lost his pace with age in his later career, he has usually been deployed as a centre-back, in both a three or four-man defence, due to his anticipation and ability in the air.
Zaccardo has the names of his two sons Niccolò and Ginevra Zaccardo tattooed on his left arm, while on his right arm a tattoo of his wife Alessia Serafini. From 6 March 2008, Zaccardo became an honorary citizen of Pollina, in the province of Palermo.
- As of 11 Jul 2015 (UTC)
|Club||Season||League||Cup [nb 1]||Europe [nb 2]||Other Tournaments||Total|
- Includes Coppa Italia, DFB-Ligapokal, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup, and Supercoppa matches.
- Includes UEFA Supercup matches.
- VfL Wolfsburg
- FIFA.com[dead link]
- AscotSportal.com Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Wolfsburg sign a world-class player". Bundesliga.de. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "Zaccardo al Parma" (in Italian). Parma F.C. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- "ZACCARDO PROUD TO JOIN MILAN". A.C. Milan. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- 2013 bilancio AC Milan (Italian)
- UFFICIALE: CRISTIAN ZACCARDO E’ BIANCOROSSO
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- "Italia-Sudafrica: 2-0". italia1910.com (in Italian). 17 October 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Zaccardo: da Formigine alla Champions, passando per Berlino" (in Italian). ParmaOnline. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- "Guidolin, "obiettivo salvezza" soddisfazione per il mercato" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Barbara Carere (2 June 2011). "... Cristian Zaccardo". tuttomercatoweb.com (in Italian). Tutto Mercato. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- "Cristian Zaccardo". informazione.it (in Italian). Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- "Italy – C. Zaccardo". soccerway.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "C. Zaccardo". Soccerway. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
- "Coni: Consegnati i Collari d'oro e diplomi d'onore ai campionissimi". coni.it (in Italian). 23 October 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Zaccardo Sig. Cristian - Ufficiale Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana". quirinale.it (in Italian). Retrieved 25 January 2013.