Marco Padalino started out as a youth at Rapid Lugano before moving to bitter city rivals FC Lugano in 1998. When the club filed for bankruptcy in March 2003, the midfielder faced an uncertain future but soon found a new home with Swiss second division outfit Malcantone Agno.
Italy became Padalino’s next port of call when Sampdoria moved to secure the services of the sturdy battler. The Genoese giants initially sent him out on loan to Sicily’s Catania Calcio, where he proved a big hit. The midfield grafter enjoyed further success with Piacenza Calcio in Serie B before Samp decided in the summer of 2008 to give Padalino a shot at Serie A.
Since then the 26-year-old has become a stalwart for Sampdoria, who secured European football after a strong performance in this year’s Italian championship.
Padalino celebrated his debut under coach Ottmar Hitzfeld in February 2009 in a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria. The experienced manager has since handed him six further caps, including 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Greece, Latvia and Israel.
The wiry Blucerchiati regular has already shown that he can provide a reliable alternative to more established players and is likely to feature at some point in Switzerland’s South African campaign.