Alessio Romagnoli (Italian pronunciation: [aˈlɛssjo romaɲˈɲɔːli]; born 12 January 1995) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Italian club Milan in Serie A, and the Italy national football team.
Romagnoli with Roma in 2012
|Full name||Alessio Romagnoli|
|Date of birth||January 12, 1995|
|Place of birth||Anzio, Italy|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2014–2015||→ Sampdoria (loan)||30||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 January 2018.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 March 2017
A youth product of Roma, Romagnoli was surprisingly included despite his 17 years of age by new head coach Zdeněk Zeman in the first team squad, joining the pre-season camp and being regularly called up as a reserve for the league games. Romagnoli made his senior debut on 11 December 2012 against Atalanta, playing the full game as a starter. He then made his Serie A debut twelve days later, as a substitute in the final minutes of a league game against Milan. He scored his first goal in Serie A on 3 March 2013 against Genoa.
He found more first team opportunities in the second half of the 2013–14 season under new manager Rudi García both at full back and in the centre of defence. On 31 May 2014 Romagnoli, signed a new four-year contract with Roma.
On 1 September 2014, Romagnoli joined Sampdoria on a season long loan for €500,000, with an option to purchase for €2 million, as well as a counter-option of €750,000. Romagnoli made his Sampdoria debut as a late substitute in a 2–0 victory against Torino on 14 September. He scored his first goal for Sampdoria on 24 September 2014 in a 2–1 defeat of Chievo. In June 2015 Roma activated the counter-option, which the deal had also cost Roma an additional €550,000 as agent fee, making the return of Romagnoli cost €1.3 million (or €800,000 in net deducting the loan revenue).
Romagnoli made his official Milan debut on 18 August 2015, in the 2015–16 Coppa Italia, playing the full 90 minutes and keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win over A.C. Perugia Calcio. Six days later, the young central defender then made his first appearance in the league with his new club, as Milan lost 2–0 to ACF Fiorentina. Romagnoli was sent off for the first time in his Milan career on 27 September 2015, after receiving two bookable offences in the first half of a 1–0 loss to Genoa C.F.C. at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Upon returning from his one match ban, Romagnoli re-established himself as the team's first choice centre-back, and went on to perform on a consistent basis, in addition to providing stability in Milan's back line which has been not been seen since the sales of the legendary Milan defenders Alessandro Nesta and Thiago Silva. On 27 January 2016, he started the match for Milan as they beat their city rival 3–0 in derby. He lost his place in the starting line-up against Napoli as he was struggling with a bad fever. After sitting on the bench for two games, he finally returned to the pitch on 6 March in the match against Sassuolo replacing Cristián Zapata.
On 1 March 2016, he was praised for his strong performance in a 5–0 Coppa Italia defeat of Alessandria, scoring his first Milan goal as well as forcing an own goal from opposition defender Roberto Sabato. This match sent Milan to the final for the first time since 2003. He finished his first season with 1 goal in 40 games in all competitions as Milan finished 7th in Serie A and failed to win the Coppa Italia final versus Juventus at extra time.
Romagnoli's season began with a 3–2 victory in Serie A against Torino. On 15 Nevember 2016 he suffered a knock while playing against Germany with the national side which kept him out for the next match against city rilvals Inter Milan. On 23 December, Romagnoli helped lead Milan to victory in the Supercoppa Italiana, playing the full 120 minutes as Milan beat Juventus 4–3 in the penalty shoot-out following a 1–1 draw after extra time. On 16 January 2017, he got red carded after receiving the second yellow as he fouled Andrea Belotti in the 89th minute of the 2–2 draw against Torino which suspended him from playing the following match against Napoli. On 15 April 2017, Romagnoli scored his first ever Serie A goal for Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.
After missing Milan's first 4 games of the season due to injury, he returned to the squad and he made his return to play the second leg of Europa league play offs against Shkëndija. On 19 September 2017, he played his first Serie A match against Udinese.
Romagnoli has represented Italy on multiple occasions at Under-16, Under-17 & Under-19 level. He made his first appearance for the Italy Under-21 team against Northern Ireland on 5 March 2014, playing the full 90 minutes. With the Italy U-21 he took part at the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He has since formed an effective partnership with fellow centre-back Daniele Rugani.
On 27 August, Romagnoli was called up to the senior squad for the first time for a friendly against France on 1 September and a 2018 World Cup qualification match on 5 September against Israel. However, he was later moved to U21 squad for 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Serbia.
An elegant, versatile, composed and gifted left-footed centre-back, with good technique and distribution, Romagnoli is known for his confidence in possession, and ability to play the ball out from the back; due to his ability to advance into more attacking positions or put pressure on opponents higher up on the pitch, he is also capable of functioning as a left-sided full-back. Romagnoli is effective in the air and known for his ability to time his challenges; regarded as one of the most promising young Italian defenders of his generation, his precocious displays, technique, positional sense, decision-making, and tackling abilities have led pundits to compare him with legendary Italian defender Alessandro Nesta, whom Romagnoli has described as his footballing idol. In 2015, Romagnoli was named one of the top 100 young footballers in the world born after 1994 by Don Balón.
|Sampdoria (loan)||2014–15||Serie A||30||2||1||0||—||—||31||2|
|Italy national team|