Fabrizio Miccoli

Last updated

Fabrizio Miccoli
FabrizioMiccoli.jpg
Miccoli playing for Palermo in 2010
Personal information
Date of birth (1979-06-27) 27 June 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Nardò, Italy
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) [1]
Playing position Forward
Youth career
1991–1995 Milan
1995–1996 Casarano
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1996–1998 Casarano 57 (19)
1998–2002 Ternana 120 (32)
2002–2004 Juventus 25 (8)
2002–2003Perugia (loan) 34 (10)
2004–2005 Fiorentina 35 (11)
2005–2007 Juventus 0 (0)
2005–2007Benfica (loan) 39 (14)
2007–2013 Palermo 165 (74)
2013–2015 Lecce 44 (17)
2015 Birkirkara 11 (6)
Total530(191)
National team
1996–1997 Italy U18 10 (5)
1998–2000 Italy U21 7 (2)
2003–2004 Italy 10 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Fabrizio Miccoli (Italian pronunciation:  [faˈbrittsjo ˈmikkoli] ; born on 27 June 1979) is a former Italian professional footballer who played as a striker.

Association football team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Contents

He scored 103 goals in 259 matches in Serie A across nine seasons, representing Perugia, Juventus, Fiorentina and Palermo, also spending time on loan to Benfica in Portugal. He later spent two seasons with his hometown club Lecce in Lega Pro. He retired in 2015 after playing for Maltese club Birkirkara.

Serie A professional association football league in Italy

Serie A, also called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by TIM, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Coppa Campioni d'Italia. It has been operating for over eighty years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie A was created for the 2010–11 season.

Juventus F.C. association football club from Italy

Juventus Football Club, colloquially known as Juve, is an Italian professional football club based in Turin, Piedmont. Founded in 1897 by a group of Torinese students, the club has worn a black and white striped home kit since 1903 and has played home matches in different grounds around its city, the latest being the 41,507-capacity Allianz Stadium. Nicknamed Vecchia Signora, the club has won 34 official league titles, 13 Coppa Italia titles and eight Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder for all these competitions; two Intercontinental Cups, two European Cups / UEFA Champions Leagues, one European Cup Winners' Cup, a joint national record of three UEFA Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. Consequently, the side leads the historical Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) ranking whilst on the international stage occupies the 4th position in Europe and the eight in the world for most confederation titles won with eleven trophies, having led the UEFA ranking during seven seasons since its inception in 1979, the most for an Italian team and joint second overall.

ACF Fiorentina professional Italian association football club

ACF Fiorentina, commonly referred to as Fiorentina[fjorenˈtiːna], is an Italian professional football club based in Florence, Tuscany. Founded by a merger in August 1926, and refounded in August 2002 following bankruptcy, Fiorentina have played at the top level of Italian football for the majority of their existence; only four clubs have played in more Serie A seasons.

In a two-year international career, Miccoli scored twice in ten appearances for Italy.

Italy national football team mens national association football team representing Italy

The Italy national football team has officially represented Italy in association football since their first match in 1910. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—the latter of which was co-founded by the Italian team's supervising body, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). Italy's home matches are played at various stadiums throughout Italy, and their primary training ground is located at the FIGC headquarters in Coverciano, Florence.

Club career

Early years

After playing at youth level with Milan, [2] Miccoli returned to his native Puglia in 1995 to join Serie C1 team Casarano, where he made his professional debut at age 17. He then agreed for a move to Serie B side Ternana in 1998, where he scored a total 32 goals in 4 seasons, 15 of which in his final year at the club. His performances at Ternana had Miccoli dubbed the "new Del Piero" by many sections of the Italian media. [3]

A.C. Milan professional association football club based in Milan, Italy

Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30.

Serie B, currently named Serie BKT for sponsorship reasons, is the second-highest division in the Italian football league system after the Serie A. It is currently contested by 19 teams, however usually consists of 22 teams, and is organized by the Lega Serie B since July 2010, after the split of Lega Calcio that previously took care of both the Serie A and Serie B. Common nicknames for the league are campionato cadetto and cadetteria, as cadetto is the Italian for junior or cadet.

Ternana Calcio Italian association football club

Ternana Calcio, commonly referred to as Ternana, is an Italian football club based in Terni, Umbria. In 2017 the club was bought by Unicusano, thus adding the name of the private university to the club. The word "Unicusano" was also added to the crest in 2017–18 season, but was removed in May 2018.

Juventus, Perugia and Fiorentina

Following his impressive performances, Juventus showed interest in signing Miccoli, and ultimately acquired his transfer rights from Ternana in July 2002, then loaning him to minor Serie A side Perugia for the 2002–03 season.

In the 2002–03 season, the Serie A, the major football Italian professional league, was composed by 18 teams, for the 15th consecutive time from season 1988–89.

Miccoli showed great qualities during his first season in the top flight, scoring great goals and showing excellent technical ability. He was dubbed "the Romário of the Salento", "the Maradona of the Salento" and "bomber tascabile" ("pocket bomber"), due to his small stature, pace and his technical ability. His efforts helped Perugia reach an UEFA Intertoto Cup spot. For his efforts, he received an Italy call-up during the season and Juventus recalled him back for the following season.

Romário Brazilian association football player

Romário de Souza Faria, known simply as Romário, is a Brazilian politician who previously achieved worldwide fame as a professional footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, he is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Romário starred for Brazil in their 1994 FIFA World Cup success, receiving the FIFA Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year the same year. He came fifth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll in 1999, was elected to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002, and was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players in 2004.

Salento peninsula

Salento is a geographic region at the southern end of the administrative region of Apulia in Southern Italy. It is a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the "heel" of the Italian "boot".

UEFA Intertoto Cup European association football tournament for clubs

The UEFA Intertoto Cup, originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the major UEFA competitions, the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and until 1999, the Cup Winners' Cup. The competition was discontinued after the 2008 tournament. Teams who originally would have entered the Intertoto Cup now directly enter the qualifying stages of the UEFA Europa League from this point.

Miccoli played six UEFA Champions League matches for Juventus, scoring one goal. He also scored seven goals in Serie A for Juventus. However, after a fallout with Juve manager Fabio Capello, he did not receive much playing time, and the next season, half of Miccoli's registration rights was sold to newly promoted Fiorentina for 7 million. [4] Once in Florence, Miccoli showed his good qualities once again, helping Fiorentina to salvation on the last day of the season, scoring a goal to send Brescia to Serie B. At the end of the season, there was a blind auction between Fiorentina and Juventus to decide his ownership, and Juventus won it by a lump sum of approximately €6.7 million for three players (Miccoli (€2.39M), Enzo Maresca (€7,000) and Giorgio Chiellini (€4.3 million)). [5] Therefore, Miccoli had to return to Turin, but he was sent on loan to Benfica. Juventus also had to pay agent fee of €250,000 for Miccoli's new three-year contract. [5]

Benfica

In July 2006, Miccoli's loan to Benfica was confirmed despite initial interest from Aston Villa. [6] [7] Miccoli scored two goals for Benfica in six Champions League appearances. He also became a fan favourite when he scored a magnificent scissor-kick goal against Liverpool during that competition, sending Benfica to the quarter-finals. At Benfica, Miccoli attracted attention from other clubs such as Roma and Internazionale. Miccoli opted to stay one more year in Lisbon with Benfica. [8]

At age 35, Miccoli said Benfica was the most beautiful experience of his career. He was one of the most cherished players by Benfica fans. He scored 14 goals in 39 matches for Benfica in the Primeira Liga. [9]

Palermo

Fabrizio Miccoli in 2009 Fabrizio Miccoli.jpg
Fabrizio Miccoli in 2009

On 5 July 2007, Palermo announced on their official website to have signed Miccoli with a three-year agreement, costing Palermo €4.3 million. [10] He completed a four-way swap: Miccoli replaced the left of Andrea Caracciolo, Caracciolo for Fabio Quagliarella and Vincenzo Iaquinta was replaced by Quagliarella. Miccoli returned to Italian football in the 2007–08 season and took part in the Rosanero's third UEFA Cup campaign. He scored a total eight goals in his first season with the Sicilian club, including the winning goal in the Sicilian derby against Catania, despite a number of injuries which prevented him from playing continuously in the season.

In 2008–09, Miccoli, now Palermo vice-captain (behind Fabio Liverani) following the transfers of Andrea Barzagli and Cristian Zaccardo to German club VfL Wolfsburg, enjoyed a remarkable seasonal start, especially after the appointment of Davide Ballardini as new head coach for the team, creating a prolific striking partnership with the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, scoring 14 goals each. He renewed his contract on 30 May. [11]

Starting in the 2009–10 season, Miccoli took the role of captain leading the team through the campaign in place of the injured Fabio Liverani, and being then confirmed after the latter rejoined the team in November 2009. During the 2009–10 season, Miccoli scored 19 goals, tying him for third in the Serie A goal-scoring race. He scored a hat-trick on 27 March 2010 against Bologna, and in a home draw against Sampdoria on 9 May 2010, Miccoli scored his 41st goal in Serie A for Palermo on a penalty which he had earned, making him the all-time Serie A leading goalscorer for Palermo. The Luciano Zauri foul that earned Miccoli the penalty against Sampdoria, though it resulted in a successfully converted penalty, also caused a moderate injury to Miccoli's knee. [12] As a result, Miccoli underwent right knee surgery on 13 May 2010 at the Villa Stuart Clinic in Rome. The moderate damage to his cruciate ligament was deemed "successfully repaired" by knee specialist Professor Pier Paolo Mariani, and Miccoli was expected to make a full recovery over the summer months. [13]

Miccoli's strong 2009–10 season played a big part in Palermo's campaign, which saw the club finish fifth in Serie A, tied for the best league finish in club history, and narrowly missing out on Champions League football. This also brought transfer interest from English Premier League side, Birmingham City, whom despite his injury at the time and the prospect of Miccoli missing most of the first half of the next season, still bid a reported £5 million for the 31-year-old striker. [13] [14]

Miccoli made a strong start to the Serie A 2011–12 season, scoring twice in a 4–3 win against Internazionale and helping Palermo to fourth place in Serie A after five matches, recording three goals and three assists en route. [15] In February 2011, Palermo defeated Lecce 4–2, with Miccoli, a boyhood supporter of Lecce, scoring a free-kick on the stroke of half-time. However, Miccoli refused to celebrate, being visibly upset as he left the field and was substituted during the interval. [16] Miccoli maintained his good form despite a lacklustre season from Palermo, with three different managers serving as head coach from August to January, and on 1 February 2012, he became the top goalscorer in club history after scoring a hat-trick in a 4–4 draw against Internazionale at the San Siro. [17] In May 2012, he scored a hat-trick against Chievo away in a 4–4 draw. On 30 September 2012, he scored another hat-trick against Chievo in a 4–1 away win.

On 24 November, Miccoli scored his 100th Serie A goal in Palermo's 3–1 win over Catania. On 28 April 2013, in Serie A's 34th matchday, of the championship won 1–0 against Inter, Miccoli reached the first place in the ranking of the players present in the shirt of Serie A with Palermo, with 161 appearances, overcoming in the next race, on May 5, lost 1–0 to Juventus. Later in June, it was confirmed that Miccoli would not be offered a new deal, and would therefore be released by the end of his contract, set to be on 30 June 2013, ending his six-year stint in Sicily.

After being released, Miccoli was linked with a number of clubs including Australian club Melbourne Victory. Australian media reports suggested he had made a verbal agreement to join the Victory. However, he later signed with his hometown club Lecce. [18] [19]

Lecce

Having been released by Palermo, Miccoli reached an agreement with Lecce and a contract was formalised 17 July 2013. [20] He was immediately made captain of the team he supported as a child. [21] He scored 14 goals in 27 appearances for a Lecce side which just narrowly missed out on promotion back into Serie B, reaching the final of the 2013–14 Lega Pro Prima Divisione Play-off during his first season with the club, only to be defeated by Frosinone. [22] The following season, the club missed out on promotion yet again, finishing sixth in Group C of the Lega Pro Championship. [23]

Birkirkara

On 24 June 2015, Miccoli reached an agreement with Maltese Premier League side Birkirara on a one-year deal. [24] He made his Stripes debut on 2 July as a 71st-minute substitute for Edmond Agius in a goalless home draw against Ulisses in the first leg of the first qualifying round for the season's Europa League. [25] One week later, on his first start in the return leg at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, he opened a 3–1 victory after the opponents' defensive error. [26] In the second qualifying round second leg, held at the Ta' Qali National Stadium, he scored the only goal to defeat West Ham United and earn an aggregate draw, but was later substituted and Birkirkara lost in a penalty shootout. [27]

In the league campaign, Miccoli scored 6 goals in 11 matches, including Birkirkara's first of the season on 21 August in a 4–0 home win over Naxxar Lions, [28] and two on 4 October in a win of the same score over St. Andrews. [29] On 16 December 2015, Miccoli announced his decision to retire from professional football. [30]

International career

Fabrizio Miccoli made ten appearances for Italy between 2003 and 2004, scoring twice. [31] He made his debut under manager Giovanni Trapattoni against Portugal on 12 February 2003, creating the only goal for Bernardo Corradi. On 30 March 2004, Miccoli scored directly from a corner kick in another friendly match against Portugal.

Miccoli featured in UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying matches and received another call-up in a friendly against Finland in November 2004, which ended in a 1–0 win, with the only goal scored by Miccoli from a free-kick. [31]

After leaving Juventus on numerous loan stints, Miccoli did not receive any call ups under Marcello Lippi and was not called up to the Azzurri under either Roberto Donadoni nor Cesare Prandelli. Many sections of the Italian media attribute Miccoli's exclusion from the Italian national side under Lippi due to Miccoli's role in court during the 2006 Italian football scandal ("Calciopoli") in which Miccoli testified against Juventus, a club with close relations to Lippi. [32] [33] Notwithstanding, Lippi still spoke positively in the media about Miccoli, referring to him in 2005: "I am constantly keeping him under observation, He's a big quality player and technically he is really good. He is a genius. Miccoli is a forward that can be really important for all teams in which he plays." [34]

During the 2009–10 Serie A season, there were several calls and speculation within the Italian media and high football figures that Miccoli could make a return to the Azzurri for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, [35] [36] and expressed continued interest in playing for the national team. [37] [38] However, Miccoli was not selected for the World Cup and in March 2011, upon return from a serious knee injury, he effectively announced his intentions not to pursue an international career any further. [32]

Style of play

Usually deployed as a creative second striker, [39] Miccoli was well known throughout his career for his all-round attacking and creative abilities, specifically his technique, [40] pace and his powerful and accurate finishing, both inside and outside the area with either foot. [41] While being a prolific goalscorer, Miccoli was also a regular assist provider. [39] Due to his acceleration, balance, agility, [42] and his technical skills, [43] Miccoli was also capable of playing in a playmaking role, as an attacking midfielder on occasion, a position which allowed him to undertake individual dribbling runs during counterattacks and create chances for teammates. [44] Throughout his career, he was also deployed as a winger, where he demonstrated his ability to beat opposing players in one-on-one situations courtesy of his ball skills and close control, [45] and subsequently cut in onto his right foot to curl shots on goal from the left flank. Miccoli was also an accurate set piece and penalty kick taker. He frequently used the "Panenka" gesture when taking penalties during his playing career, [46] and also often employed a "stutter feint" when taking them, where he would slow down during his run-up and fake a shot before finally kicking the ball. [47]

Personal life

Miccoli is married to Flaviana, a woman he met first when he was 17 and she was 14. Together they have a daughter, Suami, who was born in March 2003. His second child, a son named Diego, was born in June 2008. [48]

In early 2010, Miccoli made national news after he purchased an earring belonging to his childhood hero Diego Maradona. The earring had been confiscated by the national tax office during a visit by Maradona to Italy (the Argentine star owing several million euros in taxes to the Italian state). It was sold at a public auction for €25,000. After confirming the purchase, Miccoli revealed he would return the earring to Maradona if he were to meet him. [49]

Miccoli is a supporter of Lecce and, before joining them in 2013, had previously expressed an interest in playing for the club in the future. [50]

Controversy

On 22 June 2013, the Italian press agency ANSA reported that the office of public prosecution in Palermo had started investigations against Miccoli for extortion in connection with allegations he commissioned Mauro Lauricella, the son of Sicilian mafioso Antonino Lauricella, to collect money owed to him by a nightclub. Additionally, Miccoli was quoted in wiretaps of taped telephone conversations, published in the newspaper La Repubblica , as referring to the assassinated anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone as "fango", or "filth" in English. [51] [52] [53] Subsequently, during the 2013–14 season, the FIGC Federal Prosecutor's Office asked for a disqualification day and a fine of 50,000 euros, so on February 27, 2014 he was acquitted by the Federcalcio Disciplinary Committee. [54]

On 20 April 2015, Miccoli was investigated on charges of aggravated extortion because of constant contact with Lauricella to recover 12,000 euros from a physiotherapist friend at the disco "il Paparazzi" in Isola delle Femmine. [55]

In October 2017 Miccoli was sentenced by the Court of Palermo to three years and six months imprisonment, with abbreviated procedure, for extortion aggravated by Mafia method. [56]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 3 May 2015 [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62]
ClubLeagueSeasonLeagueCupContinentalTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Casarano Serie D 1996–97278278
1997–9830113011
Total57195719
Ternana Serie B 1998–99 30120321
1999–2000 33970409
2000–01 23720257
2001–02 3415433818
Total1203215313535
Perugia (loan)
Serie A 2002–03 34965224216
Juventus Serie A 2003–04 25861613710
2004–05 00100010
Total25871613810
Fiorentina
Serie A 2004–05 3512403912
Benfica (loan) Primeira Liga 2005–06 1740062236
2006–07 2210001133313
Total3914001755619
Palermo Serie A 2007–08 2280000228
2008–09 3014103114
2009–10 3519333822
2010–11 21941302810
2011–12 281600213017
2012–13 29812003010
Total16574965117981
Lecce Lega Pro Prima Divisione 2013–14 2714303014
Lega Pro Prima Divisione 2014–15 17312185
Total4417424819
Career total5191854517309594211

International

As of match played 17 November 2004 [31]
Italy national team
YearAppsGoals
200350
200452
Total102

Honours

Club

Juventus [57]
Palermo [57]
Birkirkara [57]

Individual

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