Damiano Tommasi

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Damiano Tommasi
Damiano Tommasi.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-05-17) 17 May 1974 (age 41)
Place of birth Negrar, Italy
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1991–1993 Verona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1996 Verona 77 (4)
1996–2006 Roma 262 (14)
2006–2008 Levante 44 (1)
2008 Queens Park Rangers 7 (0)
2009 Tianjin Teda 29 (1)
2009–2011 Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo 10 (2)
2015 La Fiorita 0 (0)
Total 429 (22)
National team
1994–1996 Italy U21 4 (0)
1998–2003 Italy 25 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Damiano Tommasi (born 17 May 1974) is an Italian retired footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and the current preseident of the Italian Footballers' Association.[1]

After a full decade representing the colours of Romawinning the 2001 national championship – he started an abroad career, going on to play for teams in three different countries until his retirement at the age of 37. He amassed Serie A totals of 262 games and 14 goals.

Tommasi gained 25 caps for Italy, and was a member of the team that took part at the 2002 World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Born in Negrar, Province of Verona, Tommasi started his professional career with local Hellas Verona FC, in Serie B. He made his Serie A debut on 7 September 1996 with A.S. Roma in a 3–1 win over Piacenza Calcio, and would be an instrumental figure in the latter side's 2001 conquest of the scudetto.

During a summer friendly match against Stoke City in 2004, Tommasi suffered a horrible knee injury, caused by Gerry Taggart,[2][3] and was out of action for a long time. In the summer of 2005 he accepted a one-year contract extension, with youth player wages (1,500 a month) – a contract which he instigated himself in the name of fairness.[4] He finally returned to play on 30 October 2005, coming on as a second-half substitute for Olivier Dacourt during a league match against Ascoli Calcio 1898 and being hailed with a long standing ovation by the Roma supporters.

On 27 November 2005, Tommasi scored after just two minutes in an eventual 1–1 home draw against ACF Fiorentina,[5] being an important first-team member as Roma finished runner-up. After ten years with the same club, in July 2006 he joined Levante UD in Spain,[6] spending two seasons with the La Liga strugglers, which eventually got relegated in 2007–08.

On 10 September 2008, Tommasi agreed a one-year deal with English Football League Championship team Queens Park Rangers.[7] On 9 January 2009, his contract was terminated by mutual consent and, after advanced talks with Chinese League's Tianjin Teda, he signed for the club early in the following month, citing an interest in a third experience abroad as the main reason for it.[8]

After one season, 35-year-old Tommasi left Teda and decided to return to Italy, joining amateurs Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo (Seconda Categoria), where he played alongside his two brothers.[9] He made his debut with the team on 13 December 2009;[10] he came out of retirement nearly six years later, with S.P. La Fiorita. He stated on his decision: "It's a challenge that La Fiorita have given me the chance to experience all over again. I've been looking forward to this Europa League draw for ages now. Let's hope it will be a beautiful adventure and that I can add another chapter to my football career", and went to feature in their campaign in the UEFA Europa League campaign against FC Vaduz.[11]

International career[edit]

Tommasi played for the Italian under-21 team that won the 1996 UEFA European Championship, also being picked for the 1996 Olympic Games and making three appearances in Atlanta, making three appearances.[12] He made his debut for the senior side on 18 November 1998, under Dino Zoff, in a 2–2 home draw against Spain,[13] but did not become a regular team member until 2001.

After featuring prominently during the Azzurri's 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Tommasi was picked by manager Giovanni Trapattoni for the squad that would take part at the finals in Japan and South Korea. He played in all four matches during the tournament, which ended in round-of-16 exit; in the decisive clash against co-hosts South Korea, he came close to scoring twice: first when Roma teammate Francesco Totti played him in only to have his shot blocked by Lee Woon-Jae. During extra time, referee Byron Moreno disallowed him a goal due to a controversial offside decision, and the European were eventually defeated by a golden goal.[14]

Tommasi made his last appearance for Italy on 16 November 2003, in a 1–0 home victory over Romania. He scored the first of two goals for his country on 5 September 2001, in a friendly with Morocco.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Roma

Country[edit]

Individual[edit]

Style of play[edit]

A strong, tenacious, consistent, hardworking and versatile player, Tommasi primarily excelled at breaking down the opposition play and intercepting passes as a box-to-box midfielder and a ball winner. He also possessed good technique and distribution, which enabled him to start attacking plays after winning back possession; these attributes allowed him to play anywhere in midfield.[16]

Post-retirement[edit]

In January 2010, together with his agent Andrea Pretti and longtime friend Werner Seeber, Tommasi set up a company in China, called Tommasi Pretti Seeber Sports Culture & Exchange Co., Ltd (TPS), aimed at creating a reliable bridge between Europe and the Asian country in the field of football.

On 9 May 2011, he became the president of the Italian Footballers' Association, succeeding historical founder Sergio Campana who had been in office for 43 years.[1]

Personal life[edit]

  • Married to Chiara, Tommasi has five children: Beatrice, Camilla, Susanna, Samuele and Emanuele.[17]
  • A philanthropist, he was heavily involved in charity work, and arranges for footballers' disciplinary fines to go to good causes.[18]
  • Tommasi first began his involvement with charitable organisations in 1994, when he chose to undertake civil service instead of military service, as he "did not want to serve his country by holding a rifle."[17]
  • For his charitable work, he received the "Altro-pallone" award in 2000.[19]
  • When first called up by the national side, Tommasi said he didn't deserve the honour in that moment.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Aic, a Tommasi il timone – Succederà a Campana" [Aic, Tommasi at the helm – He will succeed Campana] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Roma robbed of Tommasi; UEFA.com, 23 July 2004
  3. ^ Injury blow for Taggart; BBC Sport, 23 July 2004
  4. ^ Tommasi takes one-year option; UEFA.com, 1 September 2005
  5. ^ Tommasi's new lease of life; UEFA.com, 28 November 2005
  6. ^ Fresh starts for Tommasi and Sá Pinto
  7. ^ "QPR sign Italian veteran Tommasi". BBC Sport. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2008. 
  8. ^ "Tommasi senza confini – Prossima tappa la Cina" [Tommasi without borders – Next step China] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
  9. ^ China/ Official, Tommasi leaves Teda; Football Press, 3 November 2009
  10. ^ "Dilettante e felice Tommasi è tornato" [Ecstatic and happy, Tommasi has returned] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Soccer-Tommasi comes out of retirement at 41 to play in Europe". Reuters. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Damiano TommasiFIFA competition record
  13. ^ "Notable alto" [B Plus] (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 19 November 1998. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  14. ^ World Cup: Italy out after dramatic Korean victory; Daily Mail, 18 June 2002
  15. ^ "Pallone d'argento a El Shaarawy: L'albo d'oro" [Silver ball to El Shaarawy: The golden album] (in Italian). A.C. Milan. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Un giocatore, un mito: Damiano Tommasi, anima candida" [A player, a myth: Damiano Tommasi, pure soul] (in Italian). Stadio Sport. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Damiano Tommasi" (PDF) (in Italian). Aiaconegliano. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "Which clubs tell their fans the biggest porkies?". The Guardian. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Premio Altropallone – Albo dei vincitori e motivazioni" [Altropallone Award – Winners album and motivations] (in Italian). Altro Pallone. Retrieved 13 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Tommasi to lead by example; UEFA.com, 17 September 2002

External links[edit]