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Alberto Gilardino

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1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 18 April 2007.2 National team caps and goals correctas of 18 April 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

Alberto Gilardino, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI, (born July 5, 1982 in Biella, Piemonte) is a World Cup-winning footballer who plays as striker for A.C. Milan.

"Gila" started his career for Piacenza Calcio, playing his first match in Serie A against A.C. Milan. He was sold to Hellas Verona in 2001, scoring only two goals in his one season with the team, but showing plenty of his talent. His career was launched on the international stage in 2002, after he transferred to Parma F.C. on the explicit request of former Verona coach Cesare Prandelli. Gilardino scored five goals in his first season, and netted over four times that total in the 2003-04 campaign, making him the second-most prolific Serie A scorer. He repeated this feat in 2004-05, scoring 23 goals and finishing as the second-best scorer in Serie A once again.

He made an estimated £18m transfer to AC Milan on 17 July 2005. Though he scored seventeen domestic goals for Milan, he failed to find his offensive form in Milan's 2005-06 Champions League campaign, going scoreless in all twelve matches. Gilardino's European offensive output the next season was equally disappointing, with only two goals, in addition to an ignominious dive during the first leg of Milan's knockout round matchup against Celtic. One of his two goals, though, helped Milan seal a decisive 3-0 win over Manchester United in the second leg of the semifinals on May 3, 2007, which put them back into the CL final and set up a rematch with Liverpool F.C.. He played only two minutes as a substitute for Filippo Inzaghi in Milan's 2-1 victory.

Gilardino led Milan in '06-07 Serie A scoring with twelve goals; no other Milan player hit double figures.

Gilardino played with Italy in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, winning the bronze medal. He also led Italy's Under 21 team to victory in the 2004 European Under-21 Football Championship.

He was a member of the Italy squad that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He played in the first two matches, scoring a goal against the United States with a diving header, then coming on as a substitute in the semifinal match against Germany, hitting the post in extra time and providing the pass for Alessandro Del Piero's stoppage-time goal that sealed Italy's 2-0 victory.


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