Massimo Donati

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Massimo Donati
Massimo Donati.jpg
Donati playing for Celtic
Personal information
Full nameMassimo Donati
Date of birth (1981-03-26) 26 March 1981 (age 38)
Place of birth San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) [1]
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1998–1999 Atalanta
Senior career*
1999–2001 Atalanta 46 (2)
2001–2007 Milan 17 (0)
2002–2003Parma (loan) 7 (1)
2003Torino (loan) 17 (4)
2003–2004Sampdoria (loan) 19 (0)
2004–2006Messina (loan) 67 (2)
2006–2007Atalanta (loan) 32 (1)
2007–2009 Celtic 31 (3)
2009–2012 Bari 82 (4)
2012–2013 Palermo 46 (2)
2013–2014 Hellas Verona 20 (1)
2014–2016 Bari 51 (3)
2016–2018 Hamilton Academical 41 (2)
2018 St Mirren 1 (0)
National team
1998 Italy U16 9 (1)
1999–2000 Italy U18 7 (0)
2000 Italy U20 1 (0)
2000–2004 Italy U21 26 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Massimo Donati (born 26 March 1981) is an Italian professional footballer, who plays as a central or defensive midfielder.


Born in San Vito al Tagliamento, Italy, Donati began his career at Atalanta, before joining Milan in June 2001. After spending time on loan at Parma, Torino, Sampdoria, Messina and Atalanta, he signed for Scottish club Celtic in June 2007. While at Celtic, he won one Scottish Premier League medal and one Scottish League Cup medal. He returned to Italy in August 2009, to join Bari, where he remained until January 2012, when he signed for Palermo. He joined Hellas Verona in June 2013, before going back to Bari in August 2014. He returned to Scotland in July 2016, to sign for Hamilton Academical and then moved to St Mirren in February 2018.

Donati represented Italy at under-16, under-18, under-20 and under-21 levels.

Playing career

Atalanta and Milan

Donati started his club career at Atalanta, before moving to Milan in June 2001 along with Cristian Zenoni for 60 billion lire in a cash-plus-player deal. [2] However, due to the competition at the club, Donati was unable to retain a first team place after his first season, spending the 2002–03 season on loan at Parma and then Torino.

The 2003–04 season, his third as a Milan player, saw him join Sampdoria on loan, before enjoying a successful spell at Messina for the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons. Despite finding his form at Messina, Donati still found himself out of favour at Milan and was again sent on loan, this time returning to his first club Atalanta for the 2006–07 season.

Donati was a youth international, representing Italy at under-16, under-18, under-20 and under-21 levels. [3]


On 29 June 2007, Celtic confirmed the signing of Donati on a four-year contract for a fee of €2 million. [4] [5] Donati was given the number 18 jersey, vacated by ex-captain Neil Lennon and was unveiled at Celtic Park. [6] He made his Celtic debut in their first league game of the season on 5 August, a 0–0 draw with Kilmarnock. [7] In Celtic's next league game against Falkirk, Donati was involved in his side's equaliser when his shot hit Kenny Milne and went into the net; Celtic won the game 4–1. [8] The following week, Donati grabbed his first competitive Celtic goal with an equalising goal against Aberdeen and later added an assist for Kenny Miller as Celtic won 3–1. [9]

On 28 November, Donati won the match for Celtic in the UEFA Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk, netting in the 92nd minute to win the match 2–1. [10] This result meant Celtic only needed a point away to Donati's former club Milan at the San Siro to qualify for the last 16 stage of the tournament. Celtic lost 1–0 to Milan, [11] but still qualified for the last 16 as runners-up in their group after Benfica defeated Shakhtar in Ukraine. As the season went on, Donati's form began to dip, resulting in the central midfield positions being changed with Barry Robson and Paul Hartley in place of Donati and Scott Brown. In May 2008, it was reported that Donati wanted to go back to Serie A. [12]

In the 2008–09 season, Donati made only a handful of appearances for Celtic, though he started in the home game against Kilmarnock on 12 November 2008 and won the man of the match award. [13]

After the appointment of Tony Mowbray as Celtic manager, Donati won back his place in the Celtic midfield alongside new signing Landry N'Guémo. Donati played in most of the pre-season games and scored in a 5–0 win over African Champions League winners Al-Ahly in the Wembley Cup. He started the 2009–10 campaign in fine form and scored from a spectacular volley in Celtic's 3–1 loss to Arsenal in the Champions League play-off. [14]


On 27 August 2009, Donati left Celtic and signed a four-year contract with Serie A newcomers Bari. [15] [16]


On 18 January 2012, Donati left Bari for Palermo in Serie A. [17]

Hellas Verona

In June 2013, Donati was signed by Hellas Verona. [18]


On 26 August 2014, Donati returned to Bari. [19] He scored his first goal in the 2014–15 Serie B season on 13 September 2014, during a 1–1 draw with Frosinone. [20]

Hamilton Academical

On 18 July 2016, Donati returned to Scotland to sign for Hamilton Academical. [21] He scored on his debut as Hamilton won 3–0 against St Mirren in the Scottish League Cup. [22] On 9 November 2016, Donati signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2019. [23]

In January 2018, Hamilton announced that they had agreed with Donati to cancel his existing playing contract, in order for him to begin a coaching career. [24] Donati had also been coaching the Hamilton under-15 team. [25]

St Mirren

Donati signed a short-term contract with St Mirren in February 2018. [26] He was released by St Mirren at the end of this contract. [27]

Coaching career

In June 2019, Donati joined the coaching staff at Kilmarnock under Angelo Alessio. [28]

Career statistics

As of match played 17 April 2018 [29]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Atalanta 1999–00 Serie B 20110211
2000–01 Serie A 26171332
Milan 2001–02 Serie A1703070270
Parma (loan) 2002–03 Serie A7120201 [lower-alpha 1] 0121
Torino (loan) 2002–03 Serie A1740000174
Sampdoria (loan) 2003–04 Serie A19040230
Messina (loan) 2004–05 Serie A34110351
2005–06 Serie A33100331
Atalanta (loan) 2006–07 Serie A32121342
Celtic 2007–08 Scottish Premier League 2532000101374
2008–09 Scottish Premier League4010101070
2009–10 Scottish Premier League2000004161
Bari 2009–10 Serie A32100321
2010–11 Serie A31110321
2011–12 Serie B19231223
Palermo 2011–12 Serie A1820000182
2012–13 Serie A28020300
Hellas Verona 2013–14 Serie A20120221
Bari 2014–15 Serie B35200352
2015–16 Serie B16110171
Hamilton Academical 2016–17 Scottish Premiership 31240411 [lower-alpha 2] 0403
2017–18 Scottish Premiership1001021131
St Mirren 2017–18 Scottish Championship 100000000010
Career total47725373722422054732
  1. Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana
  2. Appearance in SPFL play-offs



Celtic [29]

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  11. Moffat, Colin (4 December 2007). "AC Milan 1–0 Celtic". BBC Sport . BBC.
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  13. Murray, Keir (12 November 2008). "Celtic 3–0 Kilmarnock". BBC Sport . BBC . Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  14. McNulty, Phil (26 August 2009). "Arsenal 3 – 1 Celtic (agg 5 – 1)". BBC Sport . BBC . Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  15. "Donati al Bari: è fatta". (in Italian). AS Bari. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.
  16. "Bari secure Donati transfer deal". BBC Sport . BBC. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  17. (19 January 2012). "Official: Palermo sign Massimo Donati from Bari" . Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  18. "Ufficiale: Massimo Donati in gialloblù" (in Italian). Hellas Verona FC. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  19. "Massimo Donati torna a Bari, a titolo definitovo dal Verona". F.C. Bari 1908 (in Italian). 26 August 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  20. "Serie B: Perugia da favola, incubo Catania. Bari, pari con il Frosinone". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 13 September 2014. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  21. "Massimo Donati: Hamilton Accies sign former Celtic midfielder". BBC Sport. BBC. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  22. Berry, Gavin (23 July 2016). "Hamilton 3 St Mirren 0: Former Celtic ace Massimo Donati grabs debut goal in comfortable Accies win". Daily Record. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  23. "Massimo Donati signs contract extension with Hamilton". Sky Sports. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  24. Mackenzie, Alasdair (29 January 2018). "Former Celtic and AC Milan midfielder Massimo Donati hangs up his boots to take up Hamilton Accies coaching role". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  25. "Massimo Donati: Hamilton Academical midfielder has contract cancelled". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  26. Coyle, Andy (20 February 2018). "St Mirren complete signing of midfielder Massimo Donati". STV Sport. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  27. "Players Depart Club". St Mirren FC. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  28. "Massimo Donati joins Angelo's coaching team". Kilmarnock FC. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  29. 1 2 "M. Donati". Soccerway. Retrieved 14 February 2017.