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Flying under the radar: Sebastian Giovinco

Fans of Italian football have known about the talent of Sebastian Giovinco for some time now. He is one of one of those players who seem to have been around forever even though he is still only 25. Outside of hardened Serie A followers, Giovinco’s fame is very limited, but if his recent form for Parma is anything to go by, he may be about to make a real name for himself.

The diminutive second striker has become a key component of Roberto Donadoni’s side as they look to avert the threat of relegation. He is a vital source of goals in a team that has struggled to find the net in Italy’s top flight this season. If he is not scoring them himself, he is making goals for teammates, as is shown by his team-best totals of ten goals and seven assists in 2011/12.

Giovinco has come into his own at Parma

This form has seen him become an increasingly regular inclusion in Cesare Prandelli’s Italy squads and the Parma man should get the opportunity to showcase his talents at this summer’s European Championships. In fact, Giovinco may very well be in the shop window come June as Parma currently lie only four points clear of the drop zone in Serie A. If he performs well for Italy, he will surely attract the attention of bigger clubs who may be able to secure his services for a cut-price fee if Parma are relegated to Serie B, a division for which Giovinco is undoubtedly too good.

One potential destination could be Juventus, his hometown club. The Old Lady still hold 50% of his sporting rights as the €3 million Parma paid last year only got them 50%. Italy’s current league leaders could do a lot worse than look at a player who may be a tailor-made replacement for the aging Alessandro Del Piero.

Giovinco is of course a product of the Juventus academy having learned his trade there from the age of nine. In his time as a junior at Juventus, Giovinco won a league title and a cup with the club’s Primavera team and although he made over 40 appearances for the Juventus first team, he was never able to command a regular starting place and so he moved on loan to Parma at the beginning of last season. Since then, his career has been on an upward trajectory.

At just 5’5, the man aptly known as formica atomica (atom ant) lacks the physical presence of many modern day footballers. He does however, more than make up for this with excellent technical ability. He is equally comfortable with either foot and this, along with his low centre of gravity and extremely quick feet, make him a formidable opponent when dribbling. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to state that at times, his slaloming runs resemble those of, dare I say it, Lionel Messi. This ability to dribble and beat defenders is a rare commodity in Italy and has earned him many admirers. He is capable of playing out wide or through the middle as a classic number ten and his set piece accuracy is second to none. All of this makes him a valuable attacking option to have in a team.

His performances since moving to Parma have rightly earned him rave reviews and led some to exalt him to the status of the ‘new Roberto Baggio.’ This is typical modern footballing hyperbole, but his form has not gone unnoticed, with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and even Barcelona all being strongly linked with his services. If such a club were to put up sufficient cash, Parma would have to sell and his excellent contribution to Parma’s cause this season, it is surely only a matter of time until someone tests their resolve to keep him. If Giovinco does secure a move to one of Europe’s leading clubs, it will provide him with the perfect platform to showcase his talents and then he will very much be registering on everybody’s radar.

Name: Sebastian Giovinco

Place of Birth: Turin, Italy

Nationality: Italian

Date of Birth: 26th January 1987

Club: Parma

Previous Clubs: Juventus, Empoli (loan)

Career League Appearances: 130

Career League Goals: 26

Total Career Appearances: 148

Total Career Goals: 28

International Caps: 7           

International Goals: 0

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Categories: Football
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