Giuseppe Bellusci

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Giuseppe Bellusci
Bellusci UDI-CAT 4-2.jpg
Bellusci with Catania in 2009
Personal information
Full name Giuseppe Bellusci[1]
Date of birth (1989-08-21) 21 August 1989 (age 27)
Place of birth Trebisacce, Italy
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Empoli
(on loan from Leeds United)
Youth career
Ascoli
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 Ascoli 35 (1)
2009–2014 Catania 99 (0)
2014– Leeds United 57 (2)
2016– Empoli (loan) 10 (1)
National team
2009–2010 Italy U-21 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:56, 13 March 2016 (UTC).

Giuseppe Bellusci (born 21 August 1989) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Serie A side Empoli on loan from Championship club Leeds United. He is a former Italy U21 international.

Bellusci was given the nickname The Warrior by the fans of Catania.[2]

Club career[edit]

Ascoli Calcio[edit]

After spending his youth career within the junior ranks at Ascoli, Bellusci began to earn call-ups to the club's first team in 2006. He made his debut in Serie A with Ascoli at the age of just 17, in the 2006–07 season. Bellusci made three appearances that season for his club, but Ascoli failed to avoid relegation.

Bellusci returned to the youth squad, and made just two Serie B appearances the following season. In 2008, he was officially promoted to the senior squad and since then, Bellusci had made over 40 appearances for the club and began to attract interest from several big clubs in Italy.

Catania[edit]

On 25 June 2009 it was confirmed that Bellusci had signed a contract with Sicilian Serie A team Catania. In part exchange, they gave Ascoli 50% of the contracts of both striker, Vito Falconieri and wing back, Marcello Gazzola.

In his first season with Catania, Bellusci made 11 first team appearances, also earning one red card. Bellusci played for the club's junior squad as well during his first season, helping them to the semi-finals of the youth tournament. The defender helped his club to, two impressive campaigns, which included two 13th-place finishes in the table and a record points total in the Serie A for the club, in three consecutive seasons.

After helping avoid relegation under manager Diego Simeone during the 2010–11 season, following the sale of Matías Silvestre to island rivals, Palermo in August 2011, Bellusci was promoted to the club's starting XI, alongside Nicolás Spolli and Nicola Legrottaglie, by the new coach Vincenzo Montella. He remained a key member of the first team under Rolando Maran during the 2012–13 Serie A season and is part of a record-breaking Catania outfit that had picked up 56 points from 38 Serie A matches. This performance saw the club also break its record number of home victories in a single season, its record number of victories overall in a single top flight campaign, as well as its record points total in Serie A for the fifth consecutive season

During the 2013–14 season, Catania were relegated to Serie B after finishing third bottom.

Leeds United[edit]

2014–15 Season[edit]

On 12 August 2014, Bellusci signed a one-year loan deal with the option of a permanent deal with English club Leeds United.[3] His debut was delayed due to the Italian bank holiday of Ferragosto on 15 August, leading to international clearance not arriving in time for the following day's fixture against Middlesbrough.[4][5] On 21 August 2014 the player signed a permanent deal with Leeds United until June 2018,[6] for a fee of around £1.6 million.[7]

On 23 August, Bellusci made his Leeds debut against Watford in a 4–1 defeat at Vicarage Road, with Bellusci giving away a penalty and earning a straight red card on his debut.[8] Bellusci made his home debut at Elland Road on his return from suspension on 30 August against Bolton Wanderers.[9] He scored his first goal in England on 16 September 2014 with a free kick against Bournemouth in a 3–1 win.[10] On 4 October, Bellusci equalised with a left-footed volley in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.[11]

On 22 December, Bellusci was charged by The FA on an allegation of using racist language towards Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome during the teams' 1–1 draw on 21 October; Bellusci and Leeds United denied the allegations.[12] On 7 February 2015 at an FA hearing, Bellusci was found 'not guilty', as he had threatened Jerome in Italian to give him a black eye, with the word nero being misheard.[13]

On 20 January, Bellusci was given a straight red card when he gave away a penalty against Bournemouth, however pictures showed the foul to be outside the box, Bournemouth striker Yann Kermorgant missed the resulting penalty to earn Leeds a 1–0 victory.[14] The red card was Bellusci's second red card of the season which resulted in an automatic two-match ban.[15]

On 18 April 2015, Bellusci was one of six Massimo Cellino signings (alongside Mirco Antenucci, Marco Silvestri, Souleymane Doukara, Dario Del Fabro, Edgar Cani) who controversially pulled out of the squad with an 'injury' the day before a 2–1 loss against Charlton Athletic.[16][17][18]

On 2 May 2015, Bellusci's free-kick against Bournemouth was nominated for Leeds United's goal of the season at the official end of 2014–15 season awards ceremony, but lost out to eventual winner Rudy Austin's volleyed goal against Watford.[19]

2015–16 Season[edit]

On 2 July 2015, Bellusci's agent Silvio Pagliari revealed that Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci would be staying at Leeds and that owner Massimo Cellino said both players were going to be important players for the 2015/16 season.[20]

On 27 September 2015, Bellusci scored an own goal for Leeds in a 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough at the Riverside. On 7 January 2016, Leeds manager Steve Evans revealed that Leeds had rejected two bids from oversees clubs for Bellusci and that he wanted to keep Bellusci at the club.[21]

Bellusci's costly error against Rotherham United led to a red card to Goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and resulted in Bellusci playing the rest of the match in Goal for Leeds, with Leeds out of substitutions, Bellusci was also unable to save the resulting penalty in a 2-1 defeat.[22] In the following game Bellusci gave away an injury time penalty which was converted by Q.P.R. player Tjaronn Chery.[23]

After a series of high-profile mistakes throughout the season and unrest with the crowd, Bellusci was dropped from the squad by Head Coach Steve Evans after walking out of the training ground after learning he was due to be a substitute in the match against Hull City on 23 April.[24] Bellusci also took to Twitter to post statistics as to argue the Leeds defence was more solid in the team rather than his other teammates.[25]

Bellusci remained absent from the final 3 Leeds squads of the 2015/16 season named by Steve Evans.[26]

Empoli loan[edit]

On 1 July 2016. with Bellusci missing the beginning of pre-season for Leeds United for 'personal reasons', he returned to Italy, joining Serie A side Empoli F.C. on loan for the 2016/17 season with the option of a permanent deal.[27] He made his Empoli debut against Udinese on 28 August in a 2-0 defeat. On 12 September, Bellusci scored the winner for Empoli in their Serie A game against Crotone in a 2-1 victory.

International career[edit]

On 25 March 2009, he made his debut with the Italy U-21 squad in a friendly match against Austria.[28] Bellusci played with future Italy internationals such as Mario Balotelli and Andrea Ranocchia during his time on the under-21 team.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EFL: Retained list: 2015/16" (PDF). English Football League. p. 29. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Hock' eager for Byram to stay". Yorkshire Evening Post. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "UNITED WELCOME NEW ARRIVAL : Giuseppe Bellusci signs up for the year...". Leeds United Official Site. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "BERARDI TO MISS BORO VISIT". Leeds United Official Site. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "DEBUTANT SHARP BLUNTS BORO". Leeds United Official Site. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Phil Hay (21 August 2014). "Leeds United: Bellusci loan deal made permanent". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Phil Hay (2 September 2014). "Leeds United: Whites have never had a busier transfer window". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "TWO OFF IN WATFORD DEFEAT". Leeds United official website. 23 August 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Leeds Vs Bolton Wanderers". Leeds United official website. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bournemouth 1 – 3 Leeds". BBC Sport. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "BELLUSCI STRIKE SECURES A POINT". Leeds United official website. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Giuseppe Bellusci: Leeds United defender charged with misconduct". BBC Sport. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Leeds United: Bellusci is cleared of race rap by FA hearing". Yorkshire Evening Post. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "Leeds 1-0 Bournemouth: Luke Murphy's first-half stunner halts Cherries progress at the top of the Championship". Daily Mail. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "BELLUSCI FACES TWO-MATCH BAN". Daily Mail. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Press Association (19 April 2015). "Leeds United striker Steve Morison left bemused by latest chaos at Elland Road". Daily Mail. 
  17. ^ Press Association (19 April 2015). "Neil Redfearn:'freakish events' caused six Leeds players to miss game". The Guardian. 
  18. ^ Press Association (19 April 2015). "Leeds United should sack six players who pulled out of Charlton game at short notice, says former Whites captain Trevor Cherry". Daily Mail. 
  19. ^ "MOWATT SCOOPS AWARDS NIGHT DOUBLE". Leeds United. 2 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "EXCLUSIVE TMW - Agent Bellusci: "He wants to get to rescue the Leeds"". Tutto Mercato. 2 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "EVANS PROVIDES LATEST TRANSFER NEWS". Leeds United. 7 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Leeds United: Leeds boss Evans defends 'humble and down' Bellusci". Yorkshire Evening Post. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Leeds United 1 QPR 1 - Leeds pay penalty for bungling Bellusci". Yorkshire Evening Post. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "Virus likely to rule out defender Giuseppe Bellusci for Whites' final game of season". Leeds United Official Site. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  25. ^ "Virus likely to rule out defender Giuseppe Bellusci for Whites' final game of season". Leeds United Official Site. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "REPORT: SPOILS SHARED AT PRESTON". Leeds United Official Site. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  27. ^ "BELLUSCI MAKES LOAN SWITCH". Leeds United Official Site. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  28. ^ http://www.figc.it/it/204/20708/2009/03/News.shtml
  29. ^ "Wales u21 2–1 Italy u21". S4C (in Welsh). 4 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 

External links[edit]