Motta playing with PSG in 2013
|Full name||Thiago Motta|
|Date of birth||28 August 1982|
|Place of birth||São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 May 2016.
Thiago Motta (Brazilian Portuguese: [tʃiˈaɡu ˈmɔtɐ]; Italian: [ˈmɔtta]; born 28 August 1982) is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Italian national team.
He spent his early career at Barcelona, where he was injury-prone. He also played two-and-a-half seasons with Internazionale before joining Paris Saint-Germain, winning 21 major titles between the three clubs combined.
Born in Brazil, Motta is also a citizen of Italy. He represented the latter national team since 2011, appearing at the 2014 World Cup and two European Championships and finishing second at Euro 2012.
Born in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Motta signed with FC Barcelona in 1999 at age 17, from local Clube Atlético Juventus, initially being assigned to the club's B-side. He eventually graduated to the first team in 2001, making his official debut on 3 October against RCD Mallorca in a 3–0 home win.
In the 2001–02 edition of the UEFA Champions League, Motta made seven appearances and helped his team to the semi-finals. In the 2002–03 season in La Liga, he appeared in a career-best 21 games (with three goals) as Barça could only finish in sixth position, and also played an important part in the following season's long UEFA Cup run, which was eventually ended by Celtic; in the first leg, a 0–1 loss in Glasgow (0–1 on aggregate), he was sent off during half-time after hitting out at opposing goalkeeper Robert Douglas, who was also shown the red card, in an incident that happened in the tunnel.
Motta was also dogged by several injuries, particularly one suffered on 11 September 2004 against Sevilla FC, which sidelined him for seven months, during his time at Barcelona. He would eventually need surgery to rebuild the anterior cruciate and lateral ligaments in his left knee, but was able to make a swift recovery and made an emotional comeback, taking to the field to rapturous applause as eventual league champions defeated Getafe CF 2–0 on 17 April.
In late August 2007 Motta signed a one-year contract with Atlético Madrid, for an undisclosed fee. Once again he began the season on the sidelines, injured; in the Copa del Rey quarterfinal match against Valencia CF he was ejected after only 25 minutes, and the Colchoneros lost the away fixture 0–1 and subsequently the tie.
Due to injury to regular starter Raúl García and the departure of Maniche in January 2008, Motta's opportunities increased. In March, however, the recurrent knee problems reappeared, and his season was over, followed by a successful surgery and rehabilitation in the United States; following his release he trialed with Premier League side Portsmouth, but did not sign for the club.
In September 2008 Motta joined Genoa C.F.C. on a free transfer, after passing a medical. During his debut campaign he performed consistently well and was a regular in the starting eleven, under coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
On 11 April 2009, Motta scored two goals (one of them in the first half's injury time) in a final 3–2 home win over Juventus FC. He finished the year with a career-best six goals, and his club qualified for the Europa League.
On 20 May 2009, La Gazzetta dello Sport confirmed that Motta, alongside teammate Diego Milito, transferred to Internazionale, who paid €28 million for the latter and €10.2 million for the former while as part of the deal, Genoa received five Inter players: Robert Acquafresca, Francesco Bolzoni, Leonardo Bonucci, Ivan Fatić and Riccardo Meggiorini. Motta's agent, Dario Canovi, later revealed that his Genoa contract with the club included a buy-out fee of €10 million.
Motta's debut came in the 2009–10 season's opener, a 1–1 home draw against A.S. Bari, and his first goal came the next round as he opened the scoresheet in the Derby della Madonnina after an assist by Milito, as Inter defeated A.C. Milan 4–0. Having been in and out of the team for the duration of the campaign, he netted his first brace for Inter in a 3–0 win against Bologna F.C. 1909 on 3 April 2010.
Motta also appeared in eight games during the club's victorious Champions League campaign, including the 0–1 loss at former side Barcelona for the semifinals (3–2 aggregate win). During that match, he was sent off after apparently striking Sergio Busquets in the face with his hand; the incident gathered attention due to Busquets' apparent feigning of injury.
On 31 January 2012, in spite of Inter manager Claudio Ranieri indicating shortly before he was confident the player would remain with the club until the end of the season, having called him to the upcoming league match against U.S. Città di Palermo, Motta signed with Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in France, for a fee believed to be around €10 million. Following his move, he revealed that he dreamt of playing for the club ever since fellow Brazilians such as Raí, Leonardo and Ronaldinho shone in the French capital; he also revealed that he was not happy at Inter, refusing to further elaborate on his reasons to leave.
Four days after signing for the club, Motta made his debut for PSG, against Evian Thonon Gaillard F.C. in a 3–1 home win, being booked in the process. On 22 April 2012, in another home fixture, he scored his first goal in Ligue 1, contributing to a 6–1 victory over FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.
On 21 February 2014, aged 31, Motta extended his contract until June 2016. In August, he was left with a broken nose after being headbutted by SC Bastia's Brandão in the tunnel, as his opponent went on to be suspended for six months.
Motta made his debut for Brazil in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although he played with the U-23 team, it was a full international competition, hence the international cap gained was fully recognized by FIFA; he went on to appear in another two games in the tournament, and previously represented the nation at the 1999 South American Under-17 Football Championship.
Motta missed the 2004 CONMEBOL Men Pre-Olympic Tournament due to injuries, but appeared for the U23 team in November 2003 against Santos FC. Subsequently, there were claims that he wanted to be called up for Italy and possibly to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as he possessed dual nationality – his paternal grandfather being Italian. His great-grandfather, Fortunato Fogagnolo, left for South America from Polesella in the early 1900s. FIFA granted players to have one chance to change their representing nation if they had dual nationality, but not for players who have already played in a competitive "A" match (non-friendly).
On 6 February 2011, Motta received his first call-up from Italy, for a friendly against Germany, but an official statement from the Italian Football Federation declared it subject to FIFA clearance, which was granted two days later; he made his debut in that match, being replaced in the 63rd minute of the 1–1 draw by Alberto Aquilani.
On 25 March 2011, in only his second international, a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia, Motta scored the game's only goal, following a 73rd-minute combination with Federico Balzaretti. He was selected to the finals in Poland and Ukraine, starting in three group stage matches for the Azzurri and adding two substitute appearances, against Germany in the semifinals (2–1 win) and Spain in the final: in the decisive match, after having again replaced Riccardo Montolivo, in the 55th minute, he suffered a hamstring injury after only five minutes and had to be carried off, leaving his team with ten players as he was the third and last allowable player brought in by manager Cesare Prandelli – in an eventual 0–4 loss.
Motta was named in a 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on 13 May, and also made the final list. He played his first-ever game in the tournament at the age of nearly 32, coming on in the 57th minute of the 2–1 group stage win over England.
On 31 May 2016, Motta was named to Antonio Conte's 23-man Italy squad for Euro 2016, and was handed the number 10 shirt. The decision to assign him that number sparked controversy, although international team-mate Daniele De Rossi later defended the manager's decision stating: "Those who have joked about it just don't know much about football. Just play the ball around a bit with Thiago Motta and then you will rinse your mouth out. He might not be a No. 10 like [Roberto] Baggio or [Francesco] Totti, but technically he's a master." He was suspended for the quarter-final match against Germany, after being booked for the second time in the competition in the previous round against Spain.
Style of play
A combative and experienced player, Motta is usually deployed as either a defensive or central midfielder, but he is capable of playing in various other midfield positions due to his tactical intelligence and versatility. In the Italian national team, under Prandelli, he was on occasion deployed as a deep-lying playmaker or an attacking midfielder, due to his ability to set the tempo of his team's play in midfield with his passing. His most prominent traits are his ball control, vision and passing range, although he has also been praised for his tackling, ability to read the game, and consistent defensive attributes as a ball winner.
Due to his physical strength and heading accuracy, Motta excels in the air, and also possesses a powerful long-range shot. Despite his skills, he has also been criticised for his aggression on the pitch, and for his lack of pace.
|Club||Season||League||Cup [nb 1]||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
- UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
- La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06
- Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006
- UEFA Super Cup: Runner-up 2006
- FIFA Club World Cup: Runner-up 2006
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
- Serie A: 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2009–10, 2010–11
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2010; Runner-up 2009, 2011
- UEFA Super Cup: Runner-up 2010
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Ligue 1: 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16
- Coupe de France: 2014–15, 2015–16
- Trophée des Champions: 2013, 2014
- Coupe de la Ligue: 2013–14, 2014–15
- Don Balón Award – Breakthrough player in La Liga: 2002–03
- Serie A Team of the Year: 2010–11
- Ligue 1 Team of the Year: 2013–14
- Second foot op for Motta; UEFA.com, 5 August 2005
- "Azzurri più vicini all' Europa grazie al signor Fogagnolo" [Azzurri closer to Europe thanks to Mr. Fogagnolo] (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "El Barça se divierte con el Mallorca (3–0)" [Barça has fun with Mallorca (3–0)] (in Spanish). El País. 4 October 2001. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Police probe Celtic scuffle; BBC Sport, 12 March 2004
- Motta misfortune hits Barça; UEFA.com, 12 September 2004
- "2–0. Ronaldinho mantiene al Barça firme en el liderato" [2–0. Ronaldinho leaves Barça a steady leader] (in Spanish). Terra. 17 April 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Thiago Motta es nuevo jugador del Club Atlético de Madrid" [Thiago Motta new Club Atlético de Madrid player] (in Spanish). Atlético Madrid. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- "El Valencia deja al Atlético en pie" [Valencia leaves Atlético standing] (in Spanish). Marca. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Atlético lose Motta for the season". UEFA.com. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
- Redknapp unsure over Motta; Football.co, 29 August 2008
- "Motta given a chance by Genoa". UEFA.com. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "Genoa 3–2 Juventus". ESPN Soccernet. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Genoa CFC report and accounts on 31 December 2009 (Italian) Require purchase in CCIAA
- FC Internazionale Milano report and accounts on 30 June 2009 (Italian) Require purchase in CCIAA
- FC Internazionale Milano report and accounts on 30 June 2010 (Italian) Require purchase in CCIAA
- "Milito e Motta all'Inter al Genoa Acquafresca" [Milito and Motta to Inter, to Genoa Acquafresca] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- "Motta trades Genoa for Inter". UEFA.com. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- "Il Genoa in rima: con Pelé c' è Dembelé" [Genoa rhymes: with Pelé comes Dembelé] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "Motta, parla l'agente: "Al 99% resta all'Inter"" [Motta, agent speaks: "99% sure he's an Inter player"] (in Italian). Sky Italia. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "AC Milan 0–4 Internazionale". ESPN Soccernet. 29 August 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Motta double maintains Inter lead". ESPN Soccernet. 3 April 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Matt Dickinson (29 April 2010). "Inter Milan hold off Barcelona to reach Champions League final". The Times. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- Giles Mole (29 April 2010). "Barcelona v Inter Milan: Thiago Motta fumes at Sergio Busquets' 'terrible behaviour'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- "Motta goal seals Inter win". ESPN Soccernet. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Ranieri hopeful of Motta stay". ESPN Soccernet. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "PSG complete move for Motta". FIFA.com. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "PSG agree Motta deal". ESPN Soccernet. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Thiago Motta: It's a dream to follow in the footsteps of Rai, Leonardo & Ronaldinho at Paris Saint-Germain". Goal.com. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Thiago Motta: I was unhappy at Inter". Goal.com. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Paris Saint Germain 3–1 Evian". Goal.com. 4 February 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- Paris Saint-Germain 6–1 Sochaux; ESPN Soccernet, 22 April 2012
- "Thiago Motta prolonge jusqu'en 2016" [Thiago Motta extends until 2016] (in French). Paris Saint-Germain F.C. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Bastia's Brandao suspended over head-butt on Thiago Motta of PSG". The Guardian. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Futebol – The Foreign Legion". O Futebol. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
- "Puyol challenge sidelines Motta". UEFA.com. 15 December 2003. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- Seleção Brasileira Restritiva (Brazilian National Restrictive Team) 2000–2003; RSSSF Brasil
- "I would rather play for Italy than Brazil – Inter's Thiago Motta". Goal.com. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
- "Thiago Motta “italiano vero” ringrazia il Genoa" [“True Italian” Thiago Motta thanks Genoa] (in Italian). Il Secolo XIX. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "FIFA Status (2009 Edition): Regulations governating the application of the statutes" (PDF). FIFA.com. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
- "Motta, Giovinco and Matri news. Among the 23 players Buffon's return". Italian Football Federation. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
- "Motta given green light". Sky Sports. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
- Riccardo Pratesi (11 May 2015). "Rossi salva una buona Italia – In Germania finisce 1–1" [Rossi saves promising Italy – It ends 1–1 in Germany] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
- "Motta makes his mark for Italy in Slovenia". UEFA.com. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Spain overpower Italy to win UEFA EURO 2012". UEFA.com. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
- "World Cup 2014: Striker Giuseppe Rossi in Italy's provisional squad". BBC Sport. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
- "Italy secure slim win over England". FIFA.com. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "OFFICIAL: Italy squad for Euro 2016". Football Italia. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Thiago Motta 'assigned Italy 10'". Football Italia. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- Ben Gladwell (3 June 2016). "Daniele De Rossi: Antonio Conte will get maximum out of Italy at Euro 2016". ESPN FC. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
- "De Rossi injury, Motta suspension could leave Italy exposed vs. Germany". The Score. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
- "Thiago Motta". FC Barcelona. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- Anthony Alborino (8 April 2014). "World Cup squad selector: T. Motta". Football Italia. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- "Thiago Motta e la scommessa-gol 'Mi esalto se gioco con le punte'" [Thiago Motta and the goal bet 'I am at my best playing with the forwards'] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 14 April 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "Thiago Motta" (in Italian). Vivo Azzurro. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Robin Bairner (14 May 2014). "Who is Paris Saint-Germain’s Player of the Season?". Goal.com. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- Ian Kerr (1 May 2016). "Euro 2016 Squad Selector: Thiago Motta". Football Italia. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- "Chievo, Sorrentino: "Motta, che forza quel colpo di testa"" [Chievo, Sorrentino: "Motta, what a powerful header"] (in Italian). Calcio News 24. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Thiago Motta at ESPN FC
- "Thiago Motta". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Thiago Motta". European Football. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Thiago Motta – Trophies". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Gran Galà del Calcio 2011: Rizzoli premiato miglior arbitro" [Great Calcio Gala 2011: Rizzoli named best referee] (in Italian). Italian Football Federation. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Ibrahimovic named Player of Year". Ligue 1. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
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