Pazzini pictured in 2009
|Full name||Giampaolo Pazzini|
|Date of birth||2 August 1984|
|Place of birth||Pescia, Italy|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 January 2016.
Giampaolo Pazzini (Italian pronunciation: [dʒamˈpaolo patˈtsini]; born 2 August 1984 in Pescia), nicknamed Il Pazzo (The Madman) by his fans, is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Hellas Verona and formerly for the Italian national team. He has only played for teams in Italy, previously playing for Atalanta, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Internazionale, and Milan. He is well known for his movement off the ball, especially in the penalty area, and for his excellent ability to score headed goals.
Pazzini started his career at Atalanta, with whom he made his professional debut in 2003, and quickly emerging as a promising youngster. He spent two seasons with Atalanta, playing 51 league games and scoring 12 goals (of which 3 of them at Serie A level). He switched from a left back to a striker.
Pazzini joined Fiorentina from Atalanta for around €6 million in January 2005. During his first season he scored 10 goals in 4 appearances. but did not find space in Cesare Prandelli's plans as the latter preferred Luca Toni as the main striker, with Pazzini and Bojinov acting as second strikers.
After his first match versus Palermo, in the next matchday Pazzini found the back of the net for the first time with the blucerchiati against Udinese in the Coppa Italia. He scored his first goal in Serie A with his new team on 1 February 2009 in the match against Chievo, finished in a 1–1 draw. His rejuvenated form continued when he hit his first brace with Sampdoria in a 3–0 hammering against Italian champions Internazionale in the Coppa Italia, and his second consecutive brace arrived in the Serie A encounter against Roma (2–2). He combined very well with Antonio Cassano up front, forming arguably one of the most effective partnerships of the season in Serie A, and drawing comparisons with Sampdoria's former Vialli and Mancini strike-pairing of the late 80s and early 90s.
Pazzini joined Italian champions Internazionale on a four and a half-year deal, on 28 January 2011, with Jonathan Biabiany heading in the opposite direction as part of the deal. Pazzini was valued €19 million while Biabiany was tagged for €7 million. He scored a brace on his debut, a 3–2 home win over Palermo and scored another goal in his second game against Bari. He also scored the winner in a 1–2 win against Fiorentina on 16 February 2011. On 30 April 2011 he scored 2 in a 2–1 win over Cesena, both in stoppage time. On 22 May 2011 he scored a further 2 goals in Inter's 3–1 victory over Catania. Pazzini began the 2011–2012 season on a weak note, failing to score until the 5th round in a 3–1 victory over Bologna (Claudio Ranieri's first match in charge of Inter). He then scored in the next match after a dribble from team-mate Yuto Nagatomo in a 3–2 away victory against CSKA Moscow. He later suffered a 3-month goal drought until he scored Inter's opener in a 2–0 victory against Fiorentina. He also added another goal later that month against Lecce and scored in Inter's opening match of the 2012 calendar year in a 5–0 victory against Parma. Owing partially to the excellent form of his teammate Diego Milito and partially due to a lack of consistency in managerial preferences and squad selection, Pazzini made a majority of his appearances for Inter during the 2011–2012 season as a substitute coming off the bench. As such, Pazzini was only able to score 5 goals in Serie A for the season, and was often frustrated in front of goal in European competition as well.
After being transfer listed by the Nerazzurri, Pazzini joined A.C. Milan on 22 August 2012, in exchange for Antonio Cassano and a €7.5 million compensation in favour of the Nerazzurri. (Pazzini tagged for €13 million and Cassano for €5.5 million.)
On 24 August 2012, Pazzini told La Gazzetta Dello Sport of what really happened back at Inter Milan. "I dream about being a deciding factor in a derby" and in many other matches. I could say some things but the row would go on for days and I just don't feel like it. The night before the summer training camp I had a phone call telling me I was out of the team," he revealed, "and the following day I was told: 'You won't be playing in any of the friendlies', but it wasn't Stramaccioni. I was getting bad vibes, but now I'm looking to the future." I'm really motivated because I'm coming out of a negative year," explained Pazzini. "I really want to get things together and get back to being the player I was five months ago, at international level too. I dream of getting a call from Prandelli." And regarding the swap that took Antonio Cassano to Inter: "Antonio and I have been friends since our days at Sampdoria. When I read about this deal on the front page of a paper I called him and joked: "See, these days you need me to get your name onto the front page..." But during the training camp at Inter, it was Pazzini who announced his imminent departure to the fans. "It wasn't an outburst of any kind, I was calm and cool. I made a few statements," he explained, "because I already knew all about it. I read that I had been thrown out of the squad after that statement, but it isn't true. I had already made up my mind, and that statement was spontaneous. I hadn't been expecting it, but they made the decision and I accepted it. AC Milan are the best and I can hold my head up high."
On 1 September, on his second appearance but first full-debut, Pazzini netted a hat-trick in Milan's 3–1 victory over Bologna, with his style of play drawing comparisons with Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi, who had retired a couple of months earlier. On 3 November 2012, Pazzini ended his eight-game goal drought, scoring the final goal in stoppage time in A.C. Milan's impressive 5–1 win over Chievo. It was the first time Pazzini had found the back of the net since his hat-trick back in September. On the 2nd of March 2013, Pazzini scored two important goals in a win over Lazio, which put Milan 3rd placed in Serie A, overtaking Lazio. On April 28, Pazzini came off the bench and scored another quick fire double to take his tally to 15 in Serie A and help Milan leapfrog Fiorentina into 3rd position in Milan's 4–2 win over Catania. Giampaolo ended his first season at Milan with 15 Serie A goals in 30 appearances and a further one goal in two appearances in the Italian cup.
On the expiration of his Milan contract in the summer of 2015, Pazzini moved on a free transfer to Hellas Verona, his sixth club. He scored his first goal, a penalty, in a 1-1 draw against Udinese on 18 October.
Pazzini made his debut with the senior team on 28 March 2009, in a World Cup qualification match against Montenegro, scoring his first goal. Four days later, Pazzini was awarded with a place in the starting line-up against the Republic of Ireland. Unfortunately his second cap was a less fortunate one as he was sent off in the second minute of the match for elbowing defender John O'Shea. He now holds the record for fastest sending off in Italian history. Pazzini started the friendly against Northern Ireland in Pisa on 6 June 2009, where he missed a penalty in the 55th minute.
He took part at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
- As of 11 November 2011
|1.||28 March 2009||Podgorica Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro||Montenegro||2–0||2–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier|
|2.||3 June 2011||Stadio Alberto Braglia, Modena, Italy||Estonia||3–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier|
|3.||6 September 2011||Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy||Slovenia||1–0||1–0|
|4.||11 November 2011||Stadion Miejski, Wrocław, Poland||Poland||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
In 2011, Pazzini married an Italian woman, Silvia Slitti, who he had been engaged to ten years previously. Giampaolo and Silvia got married at CastaDiva in Lake Como. Pazzini and his wife have one child, a son, Tommaso Pazzini, born on 21 December 2011.