Grosso with Italy in 2006
|Date of birth||28 November 1977|
|Place of birth||Rome, Italy|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 September 2011.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 November 2009
Fabio Grosso, Ufficiale OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfaːbjo ˈɡrɔsso]; born 28 November 1977) is a former Italian professional footballer who played as left-back. A former attacking midfielder, Grosso was a physical, quick, and energetic player, who was sound both defensively and offensively, due to his work-rate, attacking prowess, and stamina. A versatile footballer, regarded as one of the top Italian full-backs of his generation, he was also adept with accurate crossing ability, which even allowed him to be deployed as a winger or as an attacking wing-back on either flank throughout his career, despite being naturally left-footed. Unusually for a defender, he was also a free kick, penalty and corner kick specialist, responsibilities usually held by a striker or midfielder.
After playing for several smaller Italian clubs, such as Renato Curi, Chieti, and Perugia, he made his break-through during his two seasons with Palermo, which earned him a move to defending Serie A champions Inter in 2006; during his only season with the club, he helped the team to defend the league title and win the Supercoppa Italiana. He later also won titles with French side Lyon, and Juventus. Grosso made 48 appearances for Italy and scored the decisive late first goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup semi-final and also scored the winning penalty in the penalty shootout against France in the final that won the trophy for the Azzurri. He also represented Italy at UEFA Euro 2008, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Grosso was born in Rome, but hails from Chieti in Abruzzo, where his family soon returned to. Grosso joined Renato Curi Angolana in 1994, and played in the club's youth system until 1995. He was promoted to the senior squad for the 1995–1996 season, and soon became a key part of the first team. Following the 1997–1998 season, he left the Eccellenza club, to join Calcio Chieti for an undisclosed transfer fee. Grosso made 108 official appearances for Renato Curi, scoring a very impressive 47 goals as an attacking midfielder and left winger.
Grosso transferred to Calcio Chieti of Serie C2 in the summer of 1998. An attacking midfielder at the time, he again impressed in his three-season spell with Chieti. He scored 17 goals in 68 league appearances. Following several impressive performances, he was scouted by Serie A club, Perugia Calcio in 2001, and in mid-summer, Grosso officially transferred to the club.
He officially joined Perugia Calcio of the Serie A in July 2001, and in his debut Serie A season, Grosso managed an impressive 24 appearances with a single goal. By now he had been converted into a left wing back by coach Serse Cosmi, and in his second season in Perugia, Grosso maintained a starting position and made 30 league appearances with 4 goals. In his third season with Perugia, Grosso made just 12 appearances in the first 6 months of the 2003–04 season. To some surprise, Grosso transferred away from Perugia in January 2004, and was sold to Palermo, who, at the time, played in the Italian Serie B. In 2003, during his time with Perugia, Grosso earned his first Italy cap.
In January 2004, during the winter transfer window, Grosso transferred to the Sicilian side, and they earned promotion at the conclusion to the season, and Grosso made 21 appearances for his new club in the latter portion of the 2003–04 season, scoring 1 goal as the club won the Serie B title. Palermo's first season in Serie A was very successful as the club managed a very impressive 6th-place finish, with just 9 losses, also qualifying for the UEFA Cup. Grosso contributed as a regular starter, making 36 league appearances, also scoring a single goal. Grosso made 33 appearances for his club, during the 2005–06 Serie A season, and Palermo impressed, finishing a solid 8th in the league. He was one of 4 Palermo players who made Marcello Lippi's FIFA World Cup winning squad, but at the conclusion of the tournament, Grosso was sold to Internazionale.
Grosso joined Inter for a fee reported of €5 million plus Hernán Paolo Dellafiore on 6 July 2006. Grosso, however, was in and out of the club's starting line-up and was mostly used as a substitute. He made just 23 appearances for Inter in the league, and scored two goals, as the team captured the Supercoppa Italiana, and the Serie A title. Following the disappointing season with Inter, Grosso opted to move abroad, and was sold to Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2007, just one year after his move to Inter.
In July 2007 he moved abroad and signed a four-year contract with Olympique Lyonnais after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms. The transfer fee was €7.5 million He was given the number 11 shirt. His first season with proved a successful one as he was a key part of the club's starting line-up in both the UEFA Champions League and Ligue 1, and saw him win the league title, the Coupe de France, and the Trophée des Champions with the club. In his second season with Lyon, Grosso was limited to just 22 league appearances, partially due to injury, but was heavily linked with a move back to Italy during the 2009 summer transfer window, and in August 2009, he officially returned to Italy, to Juventus of Serie A.
On 31 August 2009 it was confirmed that Grosso had returned to Serie A following his two-year spell in France. After chasing the defender all summer long a deal was met on the final day of the transfer market at a €2 million plus bonus up to €1 million. He was instantly inserted into Juventus' starting eleven, and began the season in good form. He scored his first goal in a league game against Udinese Calcio in November 2009. He made 28 appearances during the season and scored two goals.
In the 2010–11 season, Juventus released several elder players, but Grosso reportedly refused any transfer. Juve youth product Paolo De Ceglie took back the starting place and Grosso was frozen from the start of season and excluded from 25-men squad for 2010–11 UEFA Europa League. However, after Juventus lost numbers of players due to injury, Grosso and Hasan Salihamidžić were recalled for the first time on 6 November. He made two appearances in his final season, the 2011–12 season, as new coach Antonio Conte either preferred De Ceglie or had a winger or wide midfielder deputize as a fullback or wingback in a 3–5–2 formation; Juventus won the title undefeated that season. His contract ended in the summer of 2012 and he opted to retire from professional football.
At the start of the 2013–14 season, it was announced that Grosso would take up a coaching position in the Juventus youth system. On 11 March 2014, he was appointed as the new manager of the Juventus Primavera (U-20) youth team following a string of poor performances under manager Andrea Zanchetta, who was transferred to another position within the youth system.
Grosso made his international debut with the Italy national football team on 30 April 2003, in a 2–1 friendly away win over Switzerland, under manager Giovanni Trapattoni. He scored his first goal for Italy in a 1–1 away draw against Scotland, on 2 September 2005, in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
2006 World Cup
From 2005 onwards, Grosso became a regular member of the starting line-up at left-back under Marcello Lippi, and was called up to represent Italy at the 2006 FIFA World Cup by manager Marcello Lippi, playing a key role throughout the tournament as the Italians went on to win the title.
In injury time of the round of 16 fixture against Australia, with the score tied at 0–0, Grosso advanced with the ball into the box from the left flank and was allegedly fouled in the penalty area by Lucas Neill, who went to ground, causing Grosso to stumble; Francesco Totti subsequently converted the decisive penalty as a ten-man Italy won the match 1–0 to advance to the quarter-finals. The decision by referee Luis Medina Cantalejo to award the penalty was contentious, however, with some in media accusing Grosso of diving. In 2010, Grosso admitted that he didn't stay on his feet because he was exhausted and "didn’t have the strength to go forward", he said he "felt contact, so I went down" and "maybe I accentuated it a little bit", but insisted that after reviewing the replay that Neill did commit a foul.
On 4 July 2006, Grosso scored the first goal against hosts Germany in the 119th minute of the World Cup semi-finals, with a curling left-footed strike beyond the reach of Jens Lehmann into the Germans' net from the edge of the box, which commentator John Motson would describe as "magnificent", while Grosso ran about screaming "Non ci credo!" (I don't believe it!) as his teammates celebrated. In the World Cup final, five days later, he scored the winning penalty against France in a 5–3 victory in the resulting shoot-out after a 1–1 draw following extra-time, which allowed the Italy national team to win their fourth World Cup title.
Grosso was also included in Roberto Donadoni's 23-man Italy squad for UEFA Euro 2008. He made a substitute appearance in Italy's opening match of the tournament, a 3–0 defeat to the Netherlands, but was subsequently started in the remaining two group matches, a 1–1 draw against Romania, and a 2–0 win over France, and was praised in the Italian media for his performances along the left flank as Italy advanced from the group in second place. In the quarter-final match against eventual champions Spain, he helped the team keep a clean-sheet, and converted Italy's first penalty in the resulting shoot-out, which Spain won 4–2.
Following the tournament, he was later also the first choice left-back in Marcello Lippi's Azzurri squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign. For the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa, he was called up to the pre-World Cup training camp along with team-mates Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Cannavaro, Nicola Legrottaglie, Mauro Camoranesi, Antonio Candreva, Claudio Marchisio and Vincenzo Iaquinta on 4–5 May and was included in the 30-men preliminary squad announced on 11 May. However, in the second training camp, he was dropped along with Juventus team-mate Candreva.
|Italy national team|
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
|1.||3 September 2005||Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland||Scotland||1–1||1–1||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2.||4 July 2006||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||Germany||1–0||2–0||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|3.||13 October 2007||Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy||Georgia||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|4.||9 September 2009||Stadio Olimpico di Torino, Turin, Italy||Bulgaria||1–0||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
Fabio Grosso is married to Jessica Repetto. They have two sons: Filippo, who was born shortly after World Cup 2006, and Giacomo, who was born on 26 October 2009.
Grosso studied political science and is fluent in French.
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- Fabio Grosso – FIFA competition record
- FootballDatabase.com provides Grosso's profile and stats
- ESPN Profile