Nicolo Zaniolo: The Young And Swashbuckling Italian Football Star

Nicolo Zaniolo: The Young And Swashbuckling Italian Football Star

As far as young Italian-born and bred young football stars go, Nicolo Zaniolo is one of the first names that come up. The tall and gifted youngster marshalls the midfield for AS Roma and the Italian National Team. In this post, we will take a look at the life and career of Nicolo Zaniolo so far. Let’s get started.

Nicolo Zaniolo: All You Need To Know

Who is Nicolo Zaniolo?

Nicolò Zaniolo was born in Massa on 2 July 1999 into a family where football is followed with a religious fervour. This is why he joined the Fiorentina youth team from an early age, later joining Virtus Entella. Following a stay of several months with the spring section of Entella, Zaniolo made his debut in Serie B on 11 March 2017, at the age of only 17, in a victory against Benevento. In July 2017, Inter announced that they had offered Zaniolo a contract for a fee of 1.8 million euros and almost the equivalent in bonuses. He played in the spring section that season, earning the title of top scorer of the team with thirteen goals, as well as the national spring championship. Although Zaniolo made his debut in a pre-season friendly on 9 July 2017 with the first team, at a competitive level he did not play any matches in an official Inter shirt.

How did Nicolo Zaniolo end up with AS Roma?

In the summer of 2018, Nicolò Zaniolo was sold by Inter to Roma as part of an exchange deal to bring Nainggolan to Inter. The very young Tuscan footballer signed a five-year contract with the club in the capital. His first game for Roma, as well as his UEFA Champions League debut, came on 19 September against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu. In Serie A, he made his debut a week later, aged just 19, in the 4-0 home win against Frosinone. On 26 December, he scored his first goal in Serie A against Sassuolo, starting a period of success that focused the eyes of the entire transfer market on him.

What is Nicolo Zaniolo’s style of play?

In 2019, during a Champions League match against Porto, Zaniolo won the distinction as the youngest Italian footballer to score twice in a single match in the competition. During that 2-1 victory, Zaniolo in fact scored both goals. As for his style of play, largely influenced by his height (190 cm), Zaniolo stands out for his strength and speed, but also for being a good dribbler. Versatile and creative, he has good energy which makes him perfect. Nicolo Zaniolo can excel in various positions in midfield. That’s why, during his short career, he plays as an attacking midfielder, pure midfielder, attacking midfielder, as well as a raider on the flanks, thanks to his ability to score and create chances for his teammates.

Nicolo Zaniolo: Italian National Team

With the Italian Under-19 national team, he took part in the 2018 European Championship arriving to play in the final, which Italy lost after extra time against Portugal. In early September 2018, he was called up to the senior national team by coach Roberto Mancini, albeit without a single Serie A appearance, to play against Poland and Portugal in the same month.

His official debut with the senior team took place on 23 March 2019, as a replacement for Marco Verratti in the home victory over Finland, recorded at the start of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers. Nicolo Zaniolo’s first goal with the blue shirt came on 18 November, with a brace in a 9-1 home win against Armenia. The match marked Italy’s last, triumphant qualifier for Euro 2020.

What are the serious injuries that Nicolo Zaniolo has suffered?

The virtuous cycle of Nicolo Zaniolo, however, was not destined to last. On the fateful January 12, 2020, the young footballer suffered an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during a home match against Juventus. The seriousness of the injury was immediately clear, an aspect that earned him all the support from the Italian football community, including in particular Roberto Mancini, Roberto Baggio, and Francesco Totti. All these players had their injuries previously operated on by the same surgeon.

Zaniolo returned to training only in June, but on 7 September 2020, after being called up for the national team, he suffered a second injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. In this case, it was the left knee and the young buck opted for a second operation at the Innsbruck hospital.

Does football run in Nicolo Zaniolo’s genes?

Nicolo Zaniolo’s talent for football runs through his veins: he is in fact the son of Igor Zaniolo, a former striker with a career in Serie B and Serie C.

Who is Nicolo Zaniolo dating?

There is little news of the private life of the player from Tuscany, leaked by gossip newspapers. One of the stories involved his ex-girlfriend Sara Scaperrotta who was expecting a child with him. It was Nicolo Zaniolo’s mother, Francesca Costa, who spoke about it at the beginning of 2021, and confirmed the girl’s abortion which took place months before in a live radio broadcast.

In the same period, another uncontrolled rumor saw him partner in an alleged relationship with the Romanian model and actress Madalina Ghenea (thirteen years older than Zaniolo). However, the news was decisively denied by Ghenea herself.

However, Nicolo Zaniolo ended up becoming a father through another of his ex girlfriends Sara, when she gave birth to a son named Tommaso in July 2021.

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