A technically gifted midfielder who likes to play in the hole, Alberto Aquilani is a product of the Roma training academy, where he started out at the age of 15.
Thanks to his finesse on the ball and ability to shoot from distance, he quickly got himself noticed. As well as making his way at Roma he also broke into Italy’s youth set-up, distinguishing himself at the 2003 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, where he won the Golden Player Award.
Aquilani made his Serie A debut in a 3-1 win over Torino on 11 May 2003 and went on to earn rave reviews for his sublime technique and shooting skills. He was in prime form when, on 25 November 2006, he suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him for six months. Only a week before he had made his full international debut in a 1-1 friendly draw with Turkey.
Since then Aquilani has enjoyed a stop-start career on account of a string of other injuries, though he has produced some impressive performances when fully fit.
A mentally strong character, Aquilani has revived his career after injury-afflicted spells with Liverpool, Juventus and AC Milan, and his form with Fiorentina over the last year has earned him a return to La Nazionale at the age of 28.