|Full name||Riccardo Montolivo|
|Date of birth||18 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Milan, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 May 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 September 2017
Riccardo Montolivo (Italian pronunciation: [rikˈkardo montoˈlivo]; born 18 January 1985) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Milan and internationally for the Italy national team.
A versatile and creative cone, Montolivo began his career with Atalanta in 2003 before joining Fiorentina in 2005. He went on to make more than 250 appearances for the club in seven years. In 2012, he signed for Milan on a free transfer and was given the club's captaincy the season following the departure of Massimo Ambrosini.
Montolivo made his debut for the Italian national team in 2007 against South Africa, Since then, he represented the country in two FIFA Confederations Cups (2009 and 2013, winning a bronze medal in the latter edition of the tournament), as well as in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, the latter where he played as a starter in the final. He also participated in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Montolivo is a graduate of the Atalanta youth academy. He made his debut for the club in a Serie B match against Piacenza, coming onto the pitch as an 81st-minute substitute for Michele Marcoliniego. His first starting match came in a 2–1 win against Hellas Verona. From that match onwards, he was frequently in the starting line-up, scoring his first goal against Bari in a 2–0 win. Atalanta finished the 2003–04 season in fifth position and were promoted to Serie A through the play-offs.
Montolivo missed the first matches of his debut season in Serie A because he was out with an injury. He made his Serie A debut in a 2–2 draw against Lecce. He scored goals in consecutive matches against Cagliari and Parma. On 23 January 2005, he received the first red card of his career in a match against Lecce. Atalanta finished last in the 2004–05 Serie A and was relegated. Montolivo won 32 caps and scored three goals in his debut season in the Serie A.
In the summer of 2005, Fiorentina signed Montolivo in a co-ownership deal for €3.5 million. He subsequently signed a five-year contract. He was given the jersey number 18. During the 2005–06 season, Montolivo's first-team chances were limited, partly due to the fact he was still an inexperienced player and partly because manager Cesare Prandelli had a relatively stable and reliable squad of players at his disposal. However, Montolivo's talent did not go unrecognised – he became a regular fixture in the Italy national under-21 team, coached by Pierluigi Casiraghi. Montolivo eventually made his Fiorentina debut in a 2–1 loss to Internazionale.
Despite being associated with the Calciopoli scandal, Fiorentina signed Montolivo on a permanent basis the following season for €2 million. He played a total of 36 matches for Fiorentina, scoring two goals. He also declared he would continue playing for the Viola.
The 2007–08 season began well for Montolivo. In the first matchday, he was as one of the best on the field against Empoli, against which he also scored a splendid goal with a lob. The season followed with ups and downs, but during its course, Montolivo confirmed himself as one of the best talents in Italian football.
His good form earned him a spot for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. As he sustained an injury while playing in the competition, he missed the first round of 2008–09 Serie A, against Juventus. He scored a crucial brace as Fiorentina defeated Udinese 4–2 after being down 0–1 in the first half. Montolivo scored two more goals against Sampdoria and Napoli and he ended the season with two goals, two more than his previous season. On 17 January 2009, he captained Fiorentina for the first time in a 1–0 defeat to Milan.
In 2009–10 season, Montolivo was made club captain following the departure of Dario Dainelli. Montolivo also expressed that the departure of Dainelli and Martin Jørgensen had weakened the team, but with Sébastien Frey and Marco Donadel, he formed a strong midfield. Despite gaining attention from big clubs he said that Fiorentina was his house and he would not change his club.
Again, the next season started with injury for Montolivo—he had a small problem with his ankle. However, he was operated and it was remedied. His form saw him included in Italian squad for 2010 FIFA World Cup. He scored goals against Palermo and Cesena as he ended the season with 2 goals in 29 matches.
At the beginning of his last season Fiorentina, 2011–12, Montolivo said he would leave Fiorentina after his contract expired, expressing an intent to play for a club of higher calibre. As a result, he was stripped of his captaincy and replaced by Alessandro Gamberini, with Stevan Jovetić as vice-captain. Montolivo made his 200th appearance for the club in a 2–0 loss against Palermo on 27 November 2011.
In May 2012, Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri announced Montolivo would join the club on a free transfer when his contract with Fiorentina expired on 30 June. Montolivo then signed a four-year contract with the club. "Next season, Montolivo will arrive and he is a very talented player with great technique," said Allegri to Milan Channel. He chose to wear the number 18 jersey which he had worn before and which was last worn by Alberto Aquilani in Milan.
In the Milan derby though he was highly praised for his performance, the referee disallowed a stunning 30-yard volley by Montolivo due to a challenge committed by Urby Emanuelson. On 30 October, Montolivo scored his first goal for Milan, coming in the 69th minute after Milan were down 2–0 to Palermo. Milan eventually drew the match 2–2, salvaging a point.
On 25 November, in a 1–0 win against Juventus, Montolivo played his first match as Milan's captain as Daniele Bonera and Massimo Ambrosini were suspended while Christian Abbiati was out injured. He ended the first season at the club by becoming one of the two (the other being Stephan El Shaarawy) most-used players of the season. On 11 June 2013, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani stated Montolivo would be the next captain for Milan after previously announcing that current club captain Massimo Ambrosini would not be extending his contract with the Rossoneri.
After earning the captaincy, Montolivo opened his account by scoring against Catania. He then scored in a 4–3 defeat to Sassulo. On 13 April 2014, he scored an astonishing long-range strike in the 23rd minute against Catania, which extended Milan's winning streak to four matches. After breaking his leg in a pre-2014 World Cup friendly match against the Republic of Ireland on 31 May, Montolivo was ruled out for six months. On 30 November, he made his return in a 2–0 home win over Udinese, coming on as a substitute in the 88th minute.
Montolivo scored the winning goal when Italy's under-21 team defeated Spain 2–1 and qualified for the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship on 10 October 2006. One year and seven days later, he made his debut for the senior team in a 2–0 friendly win against South Africa. Despite being ineligible for the 2007–08 season of the under-21 team, Montolivo capped once for the de facto Olympic team against the Dutch Olympic team in February 2008, where he was eligible for Beijing as underage player.
Montolivo was included in Italy's provisional squad for the UEFA Euro 2008 by head coach Roberto Donadoni. However, he was omitted from the final 23-man squad. The same summer, Pierluigi Casiraghi called-up Montolivo to participate in the Olympic Games in Beijing. He scored one goal in four appearances as Italy were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Belgium.
In October 2007, Montolivo was called by Roberto Donadoni to face Georgia in Euro 2008 qualifiers. He did not play in that match but made his debut in a 2–1 win in a friendly against South Africa. In May 2008, Montolivo was included in Italy's preliminary squad for the Euro 2008 final stages, but he was omitted from the final 23-man squad. However, Donadoni said Montolivo would be a key part of Italy's midfield in the future. Montolivo's second appearance came over a year after the first, against Bulgaria in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification.
In June 2009, Montolivo was selected to play in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Italy were eliminated at the group stage. Montolivo started the match against Brazil but played the other two matches as a substitute. In 2010, Montolivo was named in Marcello Lippi's squad for the 2010 World Cup. Due to the injury sustained by Andrea Pirlo, he started Italy's first two group matches against Paraguay and New Zealand. In the third match, Montolivo was again in the starting line-up but was replaced by Pirlo in the 56th minute, as the Azzurri lost 3–2 to Slovakia and were eliminated.
Montolivo scored his first senior international goal in a 2–1 friendly win against Spain in Bari. Montolivo was named to Italy's 23-man squad for Euro 2012, and made four appearances throughout the tournament, playing as a false attacking midfielder in Prandelli's 4–3–1–2 formation. Italy progressed to the final, where they lost 4–0 to Spain. In the quarter-final match against England, he missed his penalty in the resulting shoot-out, following a 0–0 draw after extra-time, although Italy still advanced to the next round following a 4–2 victory in the shoot-out. In the semi-final match against Germany, he assisted Mario Balotelli's second goal of the match with a long ball, as the Italians advanced to the final after a 2–1 win.
Montolivo was called up to Italy's 23-man squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup. He appeared in all five of his team's matches, including the third-place play-off against Uruguay, during which he was sent off after receiving a double booking. Italy nonetheless won the match on penalties, earning the bronze medal.
Montolivo was named in Italy's 30-man preliminary squad for the 2014 World Cup under Cesare Prandelli, but was ruled out of the tournament after suffering a broken leg in a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland at Craven Cottage, London, on 31 May.
After initially being named to Antonio Conte's 30-man provisional squad for Euro 2016, on 31 May 2016, Montolivo was omitted from the final 23-man squad due to injury. He returned to the national team under Conte's successor, Giampiero Ventura, making a substitute appearance in a 3–1 friendly home defeat to France on 1 September. However, in Italy's second 2018 World Cup qualifying match on 6 October, a 1–1 home draw against Spain, he was forced off with yet another injury. It was later revealed he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee, which would rule him out for six months.
Style of play
Montolivo has been described as a versatile player capable of playing anywhere in the midfield. His main and favoured role is in the centre as a deep-lying playmaker, which best utilises his technical ability, creativity, vision, and range of passing, although he is also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, even though this is not his preferred position. He also possesses an accurate and powerful shot from outside the penalty area. With the Italy national team, under Cesare Prandelli, Montolivo also played in a new role as false attacking midfielder in a 4–3–1–2 formation, in particular at Euro 2012. In recent years, he has also been praised for his work-rate, physical qualities and for his defensive attributes, including his ability to read the game, intercept loose balls, break down possession and subsequently start attacking plays, which led manager Siniša Mihajlović to deploy him as a ball-winner. However, Montolivo has also drawn criticism at times for his lack of pace, and has been accused of being inconsistent, and of lacking leadership qualities, despite having served as Milan's captain. He has also struggled with injuries throughout his career.
Montolivo was born to a German mother and an Italian father in Milan, but the couple soon relocated to Caravaggio, where he spent most of his childhood. He has a brother, Luca, who is 4 years older and works as a lawyer.
In addition to holding an Italian passport, Montolivo also holds a German passport – his mother is from Ascheberg and his grandparents are from Heidkate at the Kieler Förde on the Baltic Sea coast, where he spent all of his summers as a youth. In addition to Italian, Montolivo also speaks fluent German. In his youth, he looked upon Francesco Totti, Zinedine Zidane and Frank Lampard as his idols.
- As of match played on 5 September 2017.
|Italy national team|
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
|1.||10 August 2011||Stadio San Nicola, Bari, Italy||Spain||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|2.||16 October 2012||San Siro, Milan, Italy||Denmark||1–0||3–1||2014 FIFA World Cup qualification|
- Serie A Young Footballer of the Year (1): 2007
- Player Career Award in the Globe Soccer Awards: 2014
- "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo" (in Italian). A.C. Milan. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "articoli archivati - ForzaMilan! Online". www.forzamilanonline.com.
- Milan, AC. "Riccardo Montolivo: scheda tecnica calciatore - AC Milan". AC Milan.
- "Piacenza 0 Atalanta 0". Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Atalanta 2 Verona 1". Guardian.
- "Montolivo starting appearances". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Atalanta 2 Bari 0". Guardian.
- "Montolivo powraca". SerieA. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Montolivo Serie A debut". Guardian.
- "Montolivo goal against Cagliari". Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Parma 2 Atalanta 2". Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Montolivo gets his first red card". Guardian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "2004–05 Serie A". RSSF. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo stats". Football Database. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "Prandelli punta su Montolivo e Pazzini nati nell' Atalanta I viola contro i nerazzurri provano a lasciare quota zero". Archiviostorico. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Montolivo issued 18 no jersey". Calciatori. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo – Profile". UEFA. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Montolivo debut for Fiorentina". Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Prandelli punta su Montolivo e Pazzini nati nell' Atalanta I viola contro i nerazzurri provano a lasciare quota zero". Archioviostorico. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Montolivo zostanie w Fiorentinie". Serie A. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo – Azzurri profile". i-azzurri.com. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Montolivo wraca". Serie A. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Fiorentina 4 Udinese 2". Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Goals scored by Montolivo in 2008–09". Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Montolivo intervistato dal Guerino: "Voglio vincere con questa maglia!"". Fiorentina.it. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo, gwiazda, a przy okazji nowym kapitan drużyny Fiorentiny stwierdził, iż nowa rola wiąże się dla niego z nową, ogromną presją". Igol. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Montolivo: Florencja to mój dom". Serie A. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Fiorentina Montolivo injury". Notiziario. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "2010 FIFA World Cup Italy squad". FIFA. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Fiorentina vs Palermo". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Fiorentina vs Cesena". Soccerway. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "PRESIDENTE COGNIGNI SU MONTOLIVO: "LA FARSA È FINITA" FIRENZE, CENTRO SPORTIVO DEI 'CAMPINI'". Viola channel. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Montolivo-Fiorentina, rottura "Ha deciso, se ne vuole andare"". Gazzetta. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "GAMBERINI È IL NUOVO CAPITANO". Violachannel. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Montolivo, 200 viola in A: "Soffiato a Juve e Milan. Il Real ..."". Fiorentina. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- "Milan confirm Montolivo deal". Football Italia. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "Montolivo to join Milan as Van Bommel departs". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "A.C. MILAN COMUNICATO UFFICIALE: RICCARDO MONTOLIVO E BAKAYE TRAORE'". AC Milan. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
- Matthews, Luke (12 May 2012). "AC Milan coach Allegri confirms signing of Montolivo for 2012–13 season". Goal.com. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "8 NOCE-9 PATO-10 BOA". AC Milan. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- Edwards, Daniel (7 October 2012). "AC Milan 0–1 Inter: Samuel header secures derby spoils for 10-man Nerazzurri". Goal.com. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Palermo 2 vs 2 AC Milan – Match report". Goal.com. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "ABBIATI NON CE LA FA: AMELIA IN PORTA, MONTOLIVO CAPITANO". AC Milan. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "MILAN'S MATCH MINUTES". AC Milan. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "ADRIANO GALLIANI: "RICCARDO MONTOLIVO SARÀ IL NOSTRO CAPITANO"". AC Milan. Retrieved 23 October 2013.
- "Catania vs Milan". Soccerway. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Sassulo vs Milan". soccerway. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- "Montolivo extends Milan winning streak". China Daily. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- "Milan-Udinese 2-0: doppio Menez, ma i bianconeri recriminano" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 30 November 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- "Convocazioni e presenze in campo – Riccardo Montolivo" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Riccardo Montolivo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Saaid, Hamdan (18 April 2008). "International Friendly Matches 2007". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "Powołania Donadoniego". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Towarzyska wygrana Włochów". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Donadoni nareszcie odkrył karty". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Montolivo poza kadra". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Donadoni wytłumaczył decyzję o skreśleniu Montolivo". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Italy vs Bulgaria". Rai. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Kadra Włoch na Puchar Konfederacji". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Piątkowy przegląd włoskiej prasy". Serie A. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Italy vs Brazil". FIFA. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Italy vs USA". FIFA. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Italy vs Egypt". FIFA. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Montolivo in Italy squad". Eurosport. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Pirlo opuści pierwsze mecze". Livetipsportal. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Italy vs New Zealand". Futbolnet. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Blamaż reprezentacji Włoch i sensacyjny awans Słowacji". Pilka. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- Martin, Andy (10 August 2011). "Fernando Torres of Chelsea suffers concussion in Spain defeat by Italy". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Consegnata all'Uefa la lista dei 23 giocatori convocati per gli Europei" (in Italian). FIGC.it. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- Antonio Labbate (10 October 2012). "Italy squad under the spotlight". Football Italia. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Martin Langer (2 July 2012). "Montolivo: Italy can be proud of our Euro 2012 campaign". Goal.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
- "The two faces of Montolivo". Football Italia. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Michele Weiss (24 June 2012). "Cuore azzurro, l'Inghilterra si inchina" (in Italian). uefa.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- Dampf, Andrew (28 July 2012). "Italy beats Germany 2–1 to reach Euro 2012 final". Yahoo News. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Inviata alla FIFA la lista per la Confederations Cup: c'è anche Barzagli" [Confederations Cup list submitted to FIFA: Barzagli is also included] (in Italian). FIGC. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- Riccardo Pratesi (30 June 2013). "Confederations, Italia-Uruguay 5-4 dopo i rigori, Buffon ne para tre, azzurri terzi" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
- "Montolivo injury mars Italy draw". ESPN. 31 May 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- Jack Sargeant (31 May 2014). "Riccardo Montolivo injury: Italy midfielder substituted against Ireland". SB Nation. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- "Italy include Juventus' Stefano Sturaro in Euro 2016 squad over Jorginho". espnfc.com. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Brian Homewood (31 May 2016). "Montolivo misses out for Italy again, De Rossi in". Reuters. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
- "Italy: Azzurri flop with France". Football Italia. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
- "Cruciate ligament injury for Montolivo". Football Italia. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
- "Montolivo: "Italia-Germania per me è partita speciale"". Tuttosport (in Italian). 26 June 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.[dead link]
- Schlewitz, Kirsten (30 June 2012). "Riccardo Montolivo: Finding His Place In Italy's Squad". SB Nation. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Milan specialista nei tiri da fuori: solo il Real Madrid ha fatto meglio". Goal.com. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Michael Cox (27 November 2012). "AC Milan's ultimate anti-hero". ESPN FC. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- "Allegri: Montolivo è uno da Milan" (in Italian). www.LaStampa.it. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Marco Barzizza (11 May 2016). "Il paradosso Montolivo: criticato dai milanisti ma indispensabile per Conte?" (in Italian). Eurosport.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Emanuele Mongiardo (11 October 2016). "Perché Montolivo è così odiato nel calcio italiano? Un'analisi in tre punti" (in Italian). www.vice.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Ogo Sylla (21 November 2015). "Allegri and the Juventus tactical conundrum". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Marc Mayo (10 March 2016). "Montolivo absence weighing heavily on AC Milan". La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Eduardo Romero (8 October 2016). "Montolivo joins list of injury-plagued stars". www.Marca.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "Montolivo intervistato dal Guerino: "Florenz-Star im Porträt – Riccardo Montolivo: Auf Gerrards Spuren"" (in German). Spox. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2012.
- "Montolivo, in effetti è molto speciale" [Montolivo, in fact it is very special]. Archiovio. 24 December 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Mark Meadows (27 June 2012). "Half-German Montolivo ready for special match". www.reuters.com. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- "R. Montolivo". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Oscar Assocalciatori Kakà miglior giocatore" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "Wall of Fame". Globe Soccer.com. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
- Riccardo Montolivo – FIFA competition record
- Riccardo Montolivo – UEFA competition record
- AIC Profile (in Italian)
- FIGC Profile (in Italian)
| Fiorentina captain
| Milan captain