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Alberto Gilardino


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Background information:

Alberto Gilardino (born July 5, 1982 in Biella, Piemonte) is an Italian football (soccer) player, who is a striker for AC Milan and the Italian national team. He was member of the Italian team which won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He currently plays for AC Milan, after a departure from his old team Parma.


Gilardino started his career for Piacenza Calcio, playing his first match in Serie A against A.C. Milan. Then he was sold to Hellas Verona, for which he played for two season and scoring only two goals but showing plenty of his talent. His career was launched on the international stage in 2002, after he moved to Parma on explicit request of former Hellas Verona coach Cesare Prandelli. He scored five goals in his first season and then 23 goals the next year, when he ranked as second-placed scorer in Serie A in the 2003-04 season. In 2004-05 season, he again scores 23 goals and also ranked as second-placed scorer in Serie A. Also, he was Voted Best Italian Player and Best Overall Player for the 2004-05 season.

He made an estimated £18m transfer to AC Milan on 17 July 2005, and declared, "Why did I choose Milan? They fascinate me and they are clearly the strongest club in European football, I can't wait to start training." Though he has scored seventeen Serie A goals for Milan, he failed to find his offensive form in Milan's 2005-06 UEFA Champions League campaign, as he went scoreless in all twelve matches.

Gilardino has been having some difficulty scoring early on in the season, but he finally scored his first goal in the 06/07 season (with AC Milan) against Internazionale and was able to break his Champions League drought in the 88th minute against Anderlecht, four days later. He also scored a brace against Fiorentina to capture a much needed point for AC Milan.


He played for the Italian national football team during the 2004 Olympics in Athens, winning the bronze medal. He also led Italy's Under 21 team to victory in the 2004 European Under-21 Football Championship. He also played for 2002 European U-21 Football Championship Qualifying round against Hungary and playoff for Final Tournament, against Poland home legs. He played for Italian U-18 team, reached Intermediary round of 2000 European Under-18 Football Championship. He is considered to be one of the strongest strikers of Italy and a bright hope for the Azzurri future.

Gilardino was a member of the Italian team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He played in the first two matches, scoring a goal against USA with a brilliant diving header. He came on as a substitute in the semi-final match versus Germany, hitting the post in extra-time and providing the pass for Alessandro Del Piero's stoppage time goal that sealed Italy's 2-0 victory. Unfortunately, Gilardino was not used as frequently as he could have been, and instead coach Marcello Lippi played Luca Toni as the main striker the majority of the time.

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