Paulo Dybala

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Paulo Dybala
Dybala 2017 (edited).jpg
Dybala in 2017
Personal information
Full name Paulo Bruno Exequiel Dybala[1]
Date of birth (1993-11-15) 15 November 1993 (age 23)
Place of birth Laguna Larga, Córdoba, Argentina
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 21
Youth career
2003–2011 Instituto
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2012 Instituto 38 (17)
2012–2015 Palermo 89 (21)
2015– Juventus 65 (30)
National team
2015– Argentina 8 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 June 2017

Paulo Bruno Exequiel Dybala (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaulo ðiˈβala]; born 15 November 1993) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and the Argentina national team. After beginning his career in Argentina with Instituto de Córdoba in 2011, he moved to Italian club Palermo in 2012; his performances in Serie A later earned him a transfer to Juventus in 2015, where he won the league title, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana during his first season with the club. Due to his creative style of play, pace, talent, technique and eye for goal, he has been nicknamed "La Joya" ("The Jewel" in Spanish).[3]

Early life[edit]

Paulo Dybala was born in Laguna Larga, in Córdoba, Argentina.[4] His grandfather, Bolesław Dybała, was from the village of Kraśniów in Poland; he fled from his country of birth to Argentina during World War II.[5][6] Paulo's family also has Italian origins through his maternal grandmother, named Da Messa, from the Province of Naples.[5][7][8] Paulo officially obtained his Italian citizenship on 13 August 2012.[9]

Club career[edit]

Instituto de Córdoba[edit]

Nicknamed "La Joya"[10] or "El pibe de la pensión",[11] Dybala made his professional debut in the Primera B Nacional (Argentine second division) with his hometown club Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba at age 17. In total, he played 40 matches with the club, scoring 17 goals.[12][13] He was the youngest to score a goal, beating the record of Mario Kempes. Dybala was also the first to play 38 consecutive matches in a professional league in the country (again edging Kempes), and was also the first to score two hat-tricks in a season. Dybala also scored in six consecutive games, surpassing the previous record of four matches.[14]


Dybala taking a corner for Palermo in 2015.

On 29 April 2012, U.S. Città di Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini announced the signing of Dybala stating, "We have got Paulo Dybala – the new Sergio Agüero."[15] Later the same day, however, Instituto's general secretary José Teaux stated that the man who had completed the negotiations with Palermo did not have the mandate to sell Dybala. Nonetheless, on 20 July 2012 Palermo released a press announcement confirming the signing of Dybala, who signed a four-year deal with the Sicilian club.[16] According to the financial filing of the club, the transfer fee was €8.64 million.[17]

Dybala made his debut for the club in a Serie A match against Lazio. He scored his first and second goal in Italy on 11 November 2012 when Palermo defeated Sampdoria at home, 2–0.[18] Dybala had his breakthrough season in the 2014–15 Serie A where he scored ten goals in the first half of the season, forming a successful striking partnership with fellow Argentine–Italian Franco Vázquez and being linked with several top European clubs.[19] He finished the season with 13 goals and 10 assists, which made him one of the top assist providers in the league.[20]


2015–16 season[edit]

On 4 June 2015, Juventus announced the signing of Dybala on a five-year deal for a fee of €32 million (plus €8 million in add-ons).[21][22] He was assigned the number 21 shirt, previously worn by Andrea Pirlo, who left the club that summer.[23] On 8 August, he came on as a 61st minute substitute for Kingsley Coman against Lazio in the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana. He scored the second goal in the 73rd minute in a 2–0 win in Shanghai.[24] On 30 August 2015, Dybala scored his first league goal for the club in the 87th minute in a 2–1 defeat to Roma.[25] In his first 16 appearances of the season, Dybala managed six goals and two assists in all competitions, with a ratio of a goal every 151 minutes, which was superior to Carlos Tevez's and Alessandro Del Piero's goalscoring ratios in their debut seasons with Juventus. In the club's history, only Roberto Baggio maintained a superior goalscoring record in the opening games of his debut season.[26]

Dybala scored his first career Coppa Italia goal in a 4–0 win over cross-city rivals Torino on 16 December.[27] On 23 February 2016, Dybala scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 2–2 home draw to Bayern Munich in Juventus' first round of 16 leg.[28] On 15 March, it was announced Dybala would miss the second round of 16 leg of the Champions League against Bayern on 16 March due to an edema overload of his left soleus muscle.[29] He returned to action four days later in a 4–1 away win over Torino,[30] but was substituted after sustaining yet another injury.[31] On 21 April, Dybala scored two goals in a 3–0 home win over Lazio, which took his league tally to 16 goals in 31 appearances and also saw him score his 20th goal of the season in all competitions in the process.[32] He finished the season as Juventus' top scorer with 23 goals in all competitions and 19 goals in Serie A, as the club celebrated their Serie A title victory.[33][34]

2016–17 season[edit]

Dybala with Juventus in 2017

Following the departure of Paul Pogba to Manchester United in the summer of 2016, Dybala was offered the number 10 shirt by Juventus, although he turned it down, preferring to keep the number 21 jersey that he had worn during his previous season.[35] After struggling to score at beginning of the season, he scored his first goal of the 2016–17 campaign on 27 September, in a 4–0 away win over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.[36] He scored his first Serie A goal of the season that weekend, on 2 October, in a 3–0 away win over Empoli.[37]

On 13 April 2017, Dybala renewed his contract with Juventus until 2022.[38] On 3 June, Dybala started in the Champions League Final, but were defeated 4–1 by defending champions Real Madrid.[39]

International career[edit]

Due to his family heritage, Dybala was eligible to play for Poland and Italy, but expressly stated that he feels Argentine and had always dreamed of playing for Argentina.[40] Despite having sealed his decision of representing Argentina's colours, Dybala maintains that he feels a strong connection to his grandfather's country of origin, referring to it as "my family's blood".[41]

Dybala was called by the Argentina under-17 team to participate in the XVI Pan American Games, but ultimately did not take part in the competition. On 19 July 2012, he received his first call-up for the under-20 team, but declined the invitation.

On 22 September 2015, Dybala was called for the first time for the Argentina senior team by manager Gerardo Martino,[42] but his first appearance was on 13 October 2015, coming off the bench to replace Carlos Tevez in the 75th minute during a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay.[43] In May 2016, he was omitted from Argentina's 23-man squad for the Copa América Centenario.[44] Although Juventus insisted that they would not release Dybala for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he was included in Martino's 35-man preliminary under-23 squad for the tournament on 24 May;[45] he was not included in the final squad for the tournament, however.[46]

On 1 September 2016, Dybala was sent off in the first half of a 1–0 home win over Uruguay in a 2018 World Cup qualifier for a second bookable offence.[47]

Style of play[edit]

A quick, creative and agile player with excellent technical ability,[48][49][50][51][52] Dybala is known for his dribbling skills, balance, and close control in limited spaces,[52] as well as his ability to beat opponents and protect or hold up the ball for team-mates with his back to goal.[53] Due to his pace, positioning, intelligent movement, and ball skills, he excels during counter-attacks[53] and at beating the offside trap when making attacking runs.[54][55] A hardworking player, he is also known for his stamina and defensive contribution off the ball.[53][56] Dybala is capable both of creating chances for teammates, as well as scoring goals himself, due to his vision, passing, link-up play, and ability to drop deep and play off of other players, as well as his powerful and accurate ball-striking ability from both inside and outside the area.[54][55][56][57] He is also effective at scoring with his head due to his acceleration and ability to anticipate defenders.[52][53]

A versatile forward, he is capable of playing in any offensive position: he has been deployed as a main striker, as a centre-forward, as a supporting forward, as an attacking midfielder, as a playmaker, as a false-9,[57][58][59][60][61] or even as an inverted winger on the right flank, where he is able to cut into the centre and curl shots on goal with his stronger left foot.[52][53][60] He is also accurate from free kicks and penalties.[62][63] His playing style has drawn comparisons with compatriots Sergio Agüero,[15] Javier Pastore,[64] Carlos Tevez,[65] Omar Sívori,[66] and Lionel Messi,[48] as well as former Italian forwards Vincenzo Montella,[67] Alessandro Del Piero,[68] and Roberto Baggio,[69] the latter of whom described Dybala as the number 10 of the future in 2017.[70] Widely considered to be a highly talented prospect in world football,[55][56][71][72][73][74][75][76][77] in 2014, Don Balón named him one of the 100 most promising young players in the world born after 1993.[78]

Career statistics[edit]


Correct as of 3 June 2017[12]

Club Season League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Instituto de Córdoba
2011–12 38 17 0 0 38 17
Total 38 17 0 0 38 17
2012–13 27 3 1 0 28 3
2013–14 28 5 2 0 30 5
2014–15 34 13 1 0 35 13
Total 89 21 4 0 93 21
2015–16 34 19 4 2 7 1 1 1 46 23
2016–17 31 11 5 4 11 4 1 0 48 19
Total 65 30 9 6 18 5 2 1 94 42
Career total 192 68 13 6 18 5 2 1 225 80


As of 19 June 2017[12]
National team Year Apps Goals
Argentina 2015 3 0
2016 3 0
2017 2 0
Total 8 0






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External links[edit]