|Date of birth||14 February 1981|
|Place of birth||Rimini, Italy|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Centre midfielder|
|2001–2002||→ Bologna (loan)||32||(0)|
|2003–2004||→ Brescia (loan)||29||(1)|
|2004–2007||→ Chievo (loan)||89||(9)|
|2011–2012||→ Atalanta (loan)||11||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 September 2015.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Style of play
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 Honours
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early years: Rimini, Juventus and Bologna
Brighi started his professional football career at Rimini in Serie C2 in 1998. He did not appear for the club during the 1997–98 season, but the following season, he made 10 league appearances, scoring 2 goals. In his third season with Rimini, Brighi scored 6 goals, in 34 appearances.
In the summer of 2000, he moved to Juventus; although the club had initially purchased him in the summer of 1999, with the intent of having him play with the team's Primavera youth side before joining the first team, his signing was delayed by a year, as Brighi wanted to complete his highschool diploma in accounting prior to moving to the club. Brighi only made 11 league appearances and 12 in total for Juventus during the 2000–01 season under manager Carlo Ancelotti, however, as he struggled to find space in the team, due to competition from several other important midfielders; Juventus ended the season with a second place finish in Serie A.
In the summer of 2001, he was sent out on loan to Bologna for the 2001–02 season; his excellent performances under manager Francesco Guidolin soon saw him break into the starting eleven, and he earned a reputation as one of Italy's most promising midfielders. He made 32 league appearances throughout the season in total.
Parma and Brescia
After his loan with Bologna ended, Brighi returned to Juventus in the summer of 2002. After he had managed to win the 2002 Supercoppa Italiana with the Turin side, the club sold 50% of Brighi's registration rights to Parma, as part of the deal which saw Marco Di Vaio go to Juventus. The transfer was worth €5 million at the time. The 2002–03 season was an unsuccessful one for Brighi, however, as it was marred by injuries which limited his playing time. He was later sent on loan to Brescia during the 2003–04 season, where he was able to recapture his form, making 29 appearances, and scoring once.
In 2004, Juventus bought back Brighi's rights for a €11.5 million fee and sold them to Roma as part of the deal for Emerson for €16 million. He signed a 5-year contract worth €0.93 million in gross annually.
However Brighi was then immediately sent out on loan to Chievo for three seasons. That season Roma also signed central midfielder Simone Perrotta from the Verona side. Chievo would receive prize money from Roma per appearances of Brighi, with each 5 appearances worth €80,000. He played for Chievo at 2006–07 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round and twice at 2006–07 UEFA Cup first round. In his last season, he formed the midfield line with Paolo Sammarco and Franco Semioli for over 20 matches. Although Chievo were relegated in June, their performance earned each of them a transfer to a different club. In total, Brighi made 68 appearances for Chievo, scoring 9 goals.
Return to Roma
In 2007, Brighi returned to Roma for the 2007–08 season. On 25 July 2008, he signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until June 2012. His annual gross salary was increased because of this; he earned €1.3M in 2008–09, and this would increase to €1.6M in 2011–12.
Brighi made an excellent start to the 2008–09 season with Roma. On 9 November 2008, Italian National Team manager Marcello Lippi, who worked with Brighi at Juventus, was quoted in Rome newspaper Il Romanista as saying, "My memories of Brighi are optimal. From the human point of view he is a splendid boy, and from the technical point of view he is one of those diligent midfielders that every trainer would want to have. To my warning, at the beginning of his career, he was praised so excessively that too many expectations were created around him."
In a 20 November 2008 interview with La Repubblica, Brighi called Luciano Spalletti “the best I’ve ever had in terms of managing the group, and I’ve had some great ones like Guidolin and Prandelli.” Around the same time he told Sky Italia, “I like to work, not talk. Other players talk and sell themselves, certainly better than I do. I don’t blame them for it. It’s just not me." In the same interview, he was asked who his favourite players were growing up and who he admires in football. "As a boy I loved Roberto Mancini when he was at Sampdoria, even though he played in a different position than I do. Now, as everyone knows, Damiano Tommasi inspires me. It's an honour to be compared to a great player and a great person like him." Tommasi has said of Brighi: “He’s more talented than I am, I just got the chance to play in a great team and win something special. I hope Matteo gets the same chance.”
After a trial period, on 11 August 2012 he moved to Torino on a free loan. On 1 September 2012, he scored his first goal against Pescara; a match which ended for 3–0. On 13 January 2013 he scored his second goal of the season in the match against Siena (3–2).
At the end of the season he returned to Rome, but on 8 July 2013, he moved back to Turin, this time outright for free. His stay in Torino did not last long because in January he transferred to Sassuolo.
On 2 February 2014 he made his debut as a starter with Sassuolo in the 2–1 home defeat against Verona. With 7 appearances, he contributed to the salvation of the team, which managed to escape relegation.
At youth level, he played for the Italy under-21 side at the 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, forming the team's midfield along with Manuele Blasi, Andrea Pirlo and Marco Marchionni, as they reached the semi-finals. He also won the 2004 edition of the tournament and helped the team qualify to the Olympics later that year, although he was not included by Claudio Gentile in the squad for the final tournament. In total he made 35 appearances for the Italy under-21 side, scoring 2 goals, and also served as the team's captain for a time.
Brighi's senior debut for Italy came at the age of 21, when he started in a 1–0 friendly defeat against Slovenia on 21 August 2002, in Trieste. After several years without a senior international call-up, he has called up once again by coach Marcello Lippi for Italy's 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Montenegro and the Republic of Ireland in March 2009. On 28 March, Brighi was put on as a substitute in the 80th minute of a 2–0 away win against Montenegro, playing for his first time since 2002. Four days later, he was chosen for the starting line-up in Italy's 1–1 draw with Ireland. Brighi was called up again to play in Italy's pre-2009 FIFA Confederations Cup friendly against Northern Ireland in Pisa, on 6 June. Brighi came on as a substitute for Gennaro Gattuso at the beginning of the second-half, and provided many spectacular passes, one of which led to a goal, as Italy won the match 3–0. Although Brighi played magnificently, he was not selected in Italy's 23-man roster for the Confederations Cup that summer. In total, he made 4 appearances for Italy at senior level between 2002 and 2009.
Style of play
Regarded as one of the most promising young players in Europe in his early career, in 2001 Brighi was named one of the 101 best young players in the world by Don Balón. A versatile player, he is capable of playing as a central or defensive midfielder in a two or three-man midfield, or even as a deep-lying playmaker, due to his excellent technique, passing and ability to set the tempo of his team's play in midfield. A quick and hard-working player, he is noted in particular for his stamina, pace, tenacity, and tackling, as well as his willingness to press and chase down opponents in order to win the ball. He has also been praised for his movement off the ball and ability to make attacking runs, which enables him to get into good offensive positions from which he can score goals. His skills and playing style in his youth led him to be compared to Argentine former midfielder Fernando Redondo, and Carlo Ancelotti.
Matteo Brighi gave perhaps his most revealing interview to website romanews.eu on 13 January 2009. He discussed many topics, including the pressures today's footballers face and their bad decisions off the field, his admiration for Gennaro Gattuso ("My reference as a player, he's won the World Cup and many trophies with Milan"), making it a priority to not live a lifestyle of excess in the current economic crisis as people lose their jobs daily, his hobbies ("dinners with friends, cinema, concerts, novels"), when he realized his life had changed as a Roma player ("I've been here a year, but two months ago my life was different. Nobody stopped me on the street and said, 'Matteo, you are a phenomenon!'"), his best friends at the club ("Tonetto and Perrotta, two people who know how to detach from football, but I often eat meals with Aquilani, De Rossi and Okaka"), being single but dreaming of starting a family one day, the fact that he does not see himself as unique ("I'm not the only player that goes home and reads a book instead of going to a disco all night"), and above all his intention to end his career playing for Rimini ("When I went away, I promised I would go back one day. And that day will come").
- As of 31 January 2014.
|2004–05||Chievo Verona||Serie A||35||1||1||0||–||36||1|
|Italy national team|
- Stefano Bedeschi (24 February 2014). "Gli eroi in bianconero: Matteo BRIGHI" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- Emanuele Gamba (31 July 2000). "Moggi giura che è meglio di Redondo" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
- GIORGIO PORRA' (27 November 2008). "Lo Special One stavolta è solo Brighi" (in Italian). Sky.it. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Agreements with Parma A.C." (PDF) (in Italian). Juventus F.C. 30 August 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Cruz all'Inter, Mazzone riabbraccia Tare" (in Italian). Il Tempo. 31 August 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
- "Reports and Financial Statements" (In PDF file). Juventus.com. 30 June 2004.
- "Agreements with A.S. Roma S.p.A." (PDF). Juventus F.C. 31 July 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "Roma pair go out on loan". UEFA.com. 16 August 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2012
- "APPROVAZIONE SITUAZIONE MENSILE AL 31 LUGLIO 2004" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 31 August 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
- "PROLUNGATO IL CONTRATTO ECONOMICO PER LE PRESTAZIONI SPORTIVE DEL CALCIATORE MATTEO BRIGHI" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 25 July 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Prolungato il contratto economico per le prestazioni sportive del calciatore Matteo Brighi" (PDF). AS Roma (in Italian). 7 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Brighi, gran voglia di riscatto "Sfida difficile, ma ce la faremo"" (in Italian). Eco di Bergamo. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- "OPERAZIONI DI MERCATO AL 31 AGOSTO 2011" (PDF) (in Italian). A.S. Roma. 31 August 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- "OPERAZIONI DI MERCATO" (PDF) (in Italian). AS Roma. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Brighi al Toro" (in Italian). Torino FC. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Brighi al Sassuolo" (in Italian). Torino FC. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Brighi al Bologna" (in Italian). Bologna F.C. 1909. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
- "Matteo Brighi è un giocatore biancorosso" [Matteo Brighi is a red and white player] (in Italian). A.C. Perugia Calcio. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- GIANLUCA MORESCO (26 May 2002). "Piccola Italia, maledetto golden gol" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Brighi, Matteo" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Lippi ignora Cassano ci sono Motta e Pazzini" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Pirlo-Pazzini e l'Italia va" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 28 March 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Italia-Eire 1-1: a Iaquinta, risponde Keane al 41' st" (in Italian). Tutto Sport. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- Riccardo Pratesi (6 June 2009). "Che bella l'Italia 2" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "ITALIA-IRLANDA DEL NORD 3-0" (in Italian). Sport Mediaset. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "L'Italia dei debuttanti va: 3-0 contro l'Irlanda del Nord" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Inter Milan teen makes Italy's Confederations Cup squad". CBC. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Adriano Lo Monaco (26 August 2015). "Le 'Petit Zizou' insieme a Ibra, i giovani di Don Balón in chiave odierna" (in Italian). Guerin Sportivo. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Da Christian a Massimo: Riganò vuol dire gol Uno a Firenze, l' altro a Milazzo: una storia che comincia a Lipari" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 15 November 2002. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
- "M. Brighi". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "Matteo Brighi". National Football Teams. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "L'Associazione Italiana Calciatori (AIC): La Storia" (in Italian). Storie di Calcio. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- Profile at Lega Calcio (Italian)