Diego Milito


Diego Milito
Diego Milito
Diego Milito - Inter Mailand (3).jpg
Personal information
Full name Diego Alberto Milito
Date of birth 12 June 1979 (1979-06-12) (age 32)
Place of birth Bernal, Argentina
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Internazionale
Number 22
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2003 Racing 137 (34)
2004–2005 Genoa 59 (33)
2005–2008 Zaragoza 108 (53)
2008–2009 Genoa 31 (24)
2009– Internazionale 64 (30)
National team
2003– Argentina 24 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 November 2011.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 29 May 2011

Diego Alberto Milito (born 12 June 1979) is an Argentine footballer who plays as a striker for the Italian Serie A team Internazionale. He also plays for the Argentine national team.[1] A prolific and consistent center-forward, Milito has statistically averaged just over a goal every two appearances, over the course of his 10 year professional career. He was pivotal in Inter's 2009/10 treble winning season and his two goals in the Champions League final at last gave him international recognition as one of the world's most effective strikers.

He has been nicknamed El Príncipe ("The Prince" in Spanish) because of his physical resemblance with former Uruguayan footballer Enzo Francescoli, who was nicknamed that way.

Contents

Club career

Racing Club

1999–2003: Early years in Argentina

Diego Milito started playing at Argentine first division team Racing Club in 1999, where he won the 2001 Apertura tournament. During this time, his younger brother Gabriel played for Racing's main rival, Independiente, as a defender. The two clubs would contest the Avellaneda derby with the two brothers lining up against each other.[2]

Genoa

2004–2005: First years in European football

At the beginning of 2004, Milito moved to Italian second division Genoa. After two very successful seasons, where he scored 33 goals in 59 matches in Italy, Genoa were relegated down to Serie C1 as a punishment for an alleged match-fixing case in the final match of the 2004–05 season. Due to this, Milito was forced to leave Genoa and ultimately joined his brother Gabriel at Spanish club Real Zaragoza.[3]

Real Zaragoza

2005–2008: Making his mark in Spain

Diego again showed his potential in Spain, scoring four goals in the first semi-final of the 2006 Copa del Rey to beat Real Madrid 6–1. He finished the season as Real Zaragoza's top scorer with 16 goals in the Spanish first division.

Milito was one of the top scorers in the La Liga 2006–07 season.[4] He scored 23 goals, two less than the top goalscorer Ruud van Nistelrooy and three behind European Golden Boot winner Francesco Totti.

In November 2006, it was reported Zaragoza decided to buy him outright after his 2-year loan was set to expire.[5][6]

Milito became the club captain at Real Zaragoza, taking over this role from brother Gabriel, who departed for FC Barcelona in 2007.[7] His contract was extended in August 2007 with a buy-out clause of €100M.[8] His goals helped Zaragoza to a sixth place finish in the league. As of January 2008, Diego was averaging higher than a goal every two games for Real Zaragoza, a statistic he also achieved with Genoa.

Genoa

2008–2009: A return to Serie A

On 1 September 2008, just a few minutes before the transfer window closure time, Genoa completed the transfer of Milito from Zaragoza, after the Spanish team were relegated to Segunda División.[9][10] His agent Fernando Hidalgo confirmed Milito chose explicitly to return to Genoa despite having received more lucrative offers from other major European clubs.[11] He made his debut on 14 September against Milan. Genoa won this game 2–0 with Milito assisting the first goal and scoring the second. On 9 November, Milito scored his first hat-trick for Genoa in the 4–0 victory against Reggina. He finished the season with 24 goals in 31 league appearances, placing him second behind Zlatan Ibrahimović in the Capocannonieri scoring title.

Internazionale

2009–2010: A treble-winning debut season

On 20 May 2009, La Gazzetta dello Sport confirmed that Diego Milito was transferred to Internazionale (alongside Thiago Motta).[12] The transfer fees were undisclosed but Genoa got Robert Acquafresca, Riccardo Meggiorini, Leonardo Bonucci, Francesco Bolzoni[13] Ivan Fatic[14] and cash.

The striker adapted to his new surroundings quickly and had an excellent start to his Internazionale career scoring two goals in a 2–0 World Football Challenge win over Milan.[15] Subsequently on 29 August, in his first ever Milan Derby in Serie A, Milito assisted two goals and scored a penalty, his first league goal of the season, to cap off a 4–0 victory.[16] Later, on 13 September, he scored his second league goal in a 2–0 home win against Parma.[17] In the next league match against Cagliari he scored both goals for Inter in a 1–2 away win.[18] These two goals placed him at the top of the all-time Serie A scoring charts for best strike rate, with 28 goals in 35 games, giving him an average of 0.8 goals per game.[19] Milito continued his fine run of form with another goal in the next league match against Napoli, scoring the second goal after Samuel Eto'o scored in the first minute, a game that they won 3–1.[20]

The consistency which Milito had shown at his previous clubs was sustained throughout his debut season at Inter, and after the first few matches he had established himself as a key contributor to the squad. On 30 October, in a 5–3 home victory against Palermo, Milito, who had returned from an injury, came off the bench to make the result safe scoring Internazionale's fifth goal.[21] In the next game, against Livorno he scored another goal,[22] taking his strike rate up to seven goals in nine league matches. Three days later, on 4 November, he scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League in a 1–2 group stage win over Dynamo Kyiv, it was the equaliser which led to Wesley Sneijder's game-winner in the 89th.[23] On 24 February, in another Champions League match, this time in a 2–1 round of 16 win against Chelsea, he scored another important goal, his second in the competition.[24] Four days later, Milito netted the matchwinner which gave Internazionale a 3–2 victory at Udinese, in a thrilling win for the "Nerazzurri".[25] On 27 March, after missing a 3–0 win over Livorno[26] with a hamstring problem, Milito returned for a crucial battle at title contenders Roma, where he scored one goal in a 2–1 loss.[27][28] On 31 March, in a 1–0 Champions League quarter-finals win against CSKA Moscow, he scored the winning goal which enhanced Internazionale's chances of reaching the semi-finals.[29] Diego scored a vital goal in a 3–1 home win against Barcelona in a first leg Champions League semi-final win.

During the very last matches of the 2009–2010 season, Milito proved instrumental in Inter's winning of the first treble in the history of Italian football. The Argentine first scored the only goal in Inter's victory over Roma in the final of the Coppa Italia on 5 May 2010, enabling the nerazzurri to take home their first trophy of the season.[30] Eleven days later, it was also Milito's goal which secured Internazionale's 18th scudetto when they beat Siena 1–0 on the final matchday of Serie A. With only two points separating the top two teams in Serie A, the goal lifted Inter to the summit of the table after being in a position to lose the league title to Roma at the half-time break as Roma, playing simultaneously, were winning their own match against Chievo at that point. Milito himself declared this goal to be the "best of his career",[31] having been decisive in delivering a league title to his team. However, there was more to come from the forward and on 22 May 2010 Milito yet again proved vital as he scored twice to seal a victory in the Champions League Final over Bayern Munich. As a result Internazionale became European club champions for the first time in 45 years with a 2–0 victory and completed their historic treble championship season.[32]

After the treble success many pundits took note of the fact that Milito had always been an effective and efficient striker, yet remained one of the most underrated players in world football because of his low-key manner and the fact that he had plied his trade for smaller, less competitive teams prior to joining Inter.[33] Scoring goals on the biggest stages for a marquee team finally earned the striker the recognition merited by his skill and goalscoring record. Of the player and his two Champions League winning goals, The Guardian wrote:

Vision, timing, flawless technique and sangfroid – these two goals had everything a great striker needs, plus a sense of lyricism in the fluency of his movement. The 30-year-old Milito is hardly a fancy striker, not a Messi taking your breath away with a trick or a Tevez galvanising the stadium with elemental force, but his economy has been just as devastating...[34]

On 9 August 2010, Milito signed a new four-year contract with the Nerazzurri.[35] On 26 August 2010, Milito was named 2010 UEFA Forward and Player of the Year.[36]

2010–2011: After the treble

Milito has so far been unable to recreate the success he had during his first season at Inter. This has largely been due to a recurring muscle injury which has seen him feature only sporadically in the first eleven from August to April.[37][38] Il Principe's form was thus affected and this was probably not helped by the departure of manager Jose Mourinho at the start of the season, nor the instability caused by the arrival and then subsequent departure of Rafa Benitez (August–December 2010).[39]. On 29 May 2011 Milito scored a goal in the final of the Italian Cup to help Internazionale beat Palermo 3-1.

International career

Milito scored two goals on his international debut against Uruguay in 2003, but appeared only intermittently during the following years,[40] and was omitted from the 2006 World Cup squad.[41] He played for Argentina in the 2007 Copa América tournament, gaining playing time after Hernán Crespo's injury in a group stage match against Colombia and he was also included in Argentina's final 23 player roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[42]

Personal life

Diego is married to Sofia and they have two children.[43] He also holds an Italian passport, due to his Italian ancestry - Milito is a third-generation Italian-Argentine, his roots go to Terranova da Sibari (CS), in Calabria[44][45]. He has a younger brother named Gabriel who plays football for Independiente.

Career statistics

Club

As of 2 November 2011
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Racing 1999–2000 11 1 0 0 0 0 11 1
2000–2001 35 2 0 0 0 0 35 2
2001–2002 38 9 0 0 0 0 38 9
2002–2003 35 14 0 0 11 3 46 17
2003–2004 18 8 0 0 0 0 18 8
Total 137 34 0 0 11 3 148 37
Genoa 2003–04 20 12 2 0 22 12
2004–05 39 21 3 1 42 22
Total 59 33 5 1 64 34
Zaragoza 2005–06 36 15 8 6 44 21
2006–07 37 23 3 0 40 23
2007–08 35 15 4 2 2 0 41 17
Total 108 53 15 8 2 0 125 61
Genoa 2008–09 31 24 3 2 34 26
Total 31 24 3 2 34 26
Internazionale 2009–10 35 22 5 2 11 6 51 30
2010–11 23 5 3 1 6 2 32 8
2011–12 6 3 0 0 4 1 10 4
Total 64 30 8 3 21 9 93 42
Career Total 399 174 31 14 34 12 464 200

National team

[46]

Argentina national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 5 3
2004 2 0
2005 0 0
2006 0 0
2007 6 1
2008 2 0
2009 5 0
2010 4 0
Total 24 4

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 31 January 2003 Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras  Honduras 1 – 0 3–1 Friendly
2. 16 July 2003 Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina  Uruguay 1 – 0 2–2 Friendly
3. 16 July 2003 Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina  Uruguay 2 – 0 2–2 Friendly
4. 2 July 2007 Estadio José Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela  Colombia 4 – 2 4–2 2007 Copa América

Statistics correct as of matches played 22 May 2010[47][48]

Honours

Club

Racing Club
Internazionale

Individual

References

  1. ^ Real Zaragosa Official website News (Spanish)
  2. ^ "Prince Milito now the King of Inter". Four Four Two. 2010-05-22. http://fourfourtwo.com/news/championsleague/54992/default.aspx. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  3. ^ "El Zaragoza ficha a Diego Milito" (in Spanish). UEFA.com. 2005-08-30. http://es.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=esp/news/newsid=332361.html. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  4. ^ RealZaragosa Player Profile (Spanish)
  5. ^ "Zaragoza to use Milito option". Sky Sports. 2006-11-28. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11836_2397266,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  6. ^ "Preziosi: "La situazione di Milito? Non chiara"" (in Italian). Genoa CFC. 2007-05-12. http://www.genoacfc.it/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2089&Itemid=31. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  7. ^ Fernandez' Argentinians lift Zaragoza
  8. ^ "Diego Milito renueva con el Zaragoza" (in Spanish). UEFA.com. 2007-08-31. http://es.archive.uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/news/kind=1/newsid=577995.html. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Milito returns to Genoa". Sky Sports. 2008-09-01. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_4083219,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  10. ^ "DEPOSITATO IN LEGA IL CONTRATTO DI MILITO" (in Italian). Genoa CFC. 2008-09-01. http://www.genoacfc.it/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5452&Itemid=31. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  11. ^ "Vi racconto il rifiuto di Crespo e il ritorno di Milito" (in Italian). Il Secolo XIX. 2008-09-02. http://ilsecoloxix.ilsole24ore.com/sport/2008/09/02/1101729426817-felice-ritorno-milito-crespo-perche-ha-detto-no.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  12. ^ "Milito e Motta all'Inter Al Genoa Acquafresca" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 2009-05-20. http://www.gazzetta.it/Calcio/Calciomercato/20-05-2009/milito-motta-inter-50428885591.shtml. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  13. ^ "Thiago Motta signs on". inter.it (FC Internazionale Milano official site). 2009-07-01. http://www.inter.it/aas/news/reader?L=en&N=31666. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  14. ^ "Il Genoa in rima: con Pelé c' è Dembelé" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 10 June 2009. http://archiviostorico.gazzetta.it/2009/giugno/10/Genoa_rima_con_Pele_Dembele_ga_10_090610027.shtml. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  15. ^ "Milito hits brace to bury Rossoneri". ESPNsoccernet. 26 July 2009. http://soccernet-assets.espn.go.com/match?id=276251&league=GLOBAL.WORLD_FOOTBALL_CHALLENGE&cc=5739. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Serie A: AC Milan 0–4 Inter Milan". http://www.insideworldsoccer.com. 29 August 2009. http://www.insideworldsoccer.com/2009/08/ac-milan-0-inter-milan-4.html. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  17. ^ "Internazionale 2 – 0 Parma". ESPNsoccernet. 13 September 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=278238&cc=5739&league=ITA.1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  18. ^ "Cagliari 1 – 2 Internazionale". ESPNsoccernet. 20 September 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=278331&cc=5739&league=ITA.1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  19. ^ "Stats: Milito, the goal king". Internazionale. 21 September 2009. http://inter.it/aas/news/reader?N=32243&L=en. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "Internazionale 3 – 1 Napoli". ESPNsoccernet. 23 September 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=278430&cc=5739. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Inter 5–3 Palermo: Braces For Eto'o, Balotelli & Miccoli In Eight Goal Thriller". Goal.com. 29 October 2009. http://www.goal.com/en-us/news/86/italy/2009/10/29/1592454/inter-5-3-palermo-braces-for-etoo-balotelli-miccoli-in-eight. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "Clinical finishing seals win". ESPNsoccernet. 1 November 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=278525&cc=5739&league=ITA.1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Late drama seals win". ESPNsoccernet. 4 November 2009. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=283240&cc=5739&league=UEFA.CHAMPIONS. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  24. ^ "Cambiasso strike gives Italians slight advantage". ESPNsoccernet. 24 February 2010. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=285583&cc=5739&league=UEFA.CHAMPIONS. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  25. ^ "League leaders hang on". ESPNsoccernet. 28 February 2010. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=278315&cc=5739&league=ITA.1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "Internazionale 3–0 Livorno". ESPNsoccernet. 25 March 2010. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/match?id=278419&cc=5739. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  27. ^ "Previews: Milito ready to return at Roma". FourFourTwo. 26 March 2010. http://fourfourtwo.com/news/italy/50752/default.aspx. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  28. ^ "Toni the hero for title hopefuls". ESPNsoccernet. 27 March 2010. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=278475&cc=5739&league=ITA.1. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  29. ^ "Milito nets vital winner". ESPNsoccernet. 1 April 2010. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report?id=290164&cc=5739&league=UEFA.CHAMPIONS. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  30. ^ "Inter claim first leg of possible treble". CNN (Turner Broadcasting System). 2010-05-05. http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/football/05/05/football.roma.inter.milan/. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  31. ^ "Scudetto Goal Is Best Of My Career – Inter Striker Diego Milito". Goal.com. 2010-05-16. http://www.goal.com/en/news/10/italy/2010/05/16/1927258/scudetto-goal-is-best-of-my-career-inter-striker-diego. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  32. ^ Lyon, Sam (2010-05-22). "Bayern Munich 0 – 2 Inter Milan". BBC Sport (BBC). http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/8697017.stm. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  33. ^ "Prince Milito now the King of Inter". Four Four Two. 2010-05-22. http://fourfourtwo.com/news/championsleague/54992/default.aspx. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  34. ^ Williams, Richard (2010-05-23). "The New Diego – How Milito Won The Champions League". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2010/may/23/diego-milito-champions-league-final. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  35. ^ "Diego Milito signs new contract". FC Internazionale Milano (www.inter.it). 9 August 2010. http://www.inter.it/aas/news/reader?N=34318&L=en. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  36. ^ "Milito signs new Inter Milan deal". Ontheminute.com. 2010-08-09. http://www.ontheminute.com/news/news.php?news=24693. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  37. ^ . http://www.goal.com/en/news/10/italy/2010/11/25/2231570/diego-milito-returns-to-inter-training-after-suffering-hamstring-. 
  38. ^ , http://www.footballitaliano.org/18889/milito-to-start-for-inter.html 
  39. ^ Smith, Rory (21 December 2010). "Inter Milan to confirm Rafael Benitez sacking with Leonardo lined up as replacement at San Siro". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/serie-a/8218218/Inter-Milan-to-confirm-Rafael-Benitez-sacking-with-Leonardo-lined-up-as-replacement-at-San-Siro.html. 
  40. ^ Argentina en las Eliminatorias 2003–2005
  41. ^ The Milito Clan
  42. ^ "Argentina vs Colombia in Copa America 2007". Football-lineups.com. 2007-11-20. http://www.football-lineups.com/match/8811/. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  43. ^ "Milito becomes father to Agustina". FC Internazionale Milano official site. 2010-03-21. http://www.inter.it/aas/news/reader?N=33512&L=en. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  44. ^ http://www.corrieredellosport.it/gs_storie/2010/06/01-114296/Diego+Milito
  45. ^ http://www.lastampa.it/sport/cmsSezioni/calcio/200911articoli/23549girata.asp
  46. ^ http://www.national-football-teams.com/v2/player.php?id=300
  47. ^ Diego Milito's Profile, www.worldfootball.net. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  48. ^ Diego Milito's Profile, www.national-football-teams.com. Retrieved 1 April 2010.

External links


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