Clubs: Juventus, Empoli FC (loan)
• Born in Turin, he joined Juventus and worked his way diligently through the youth ranks before attaining first-team status in 2006/07, the season La Vecchia Signora spent in Serie B as punishment for the sporting fraud scandal.
• Made 25 Serie B appearances to help the club win immediate promotion under coach Didier Deschamps, but given his Serie A and European debuts (in the UEFA Cup) not by Juventus but Empoli FC, where he was despatched on loan for the 2007/08 campaign.
• Achieved his Serie A breakthrough with Juventus under Claudio Ranieri in 2008/09, his first two top-flight goals being responsible for 1-0 wins against ACF Fiorentina and SSC Napoli; also made his debut that season in the UEFA Champions League.
• Awarded his first Italy cap by Marcelo Lippi on 12 August 2009 and made it into the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, starting the 1-1 draws against Paraguay and New Zealand; retained by new Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli for UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, making two starts and four substitute appearances.
• Reached 100 Serie A outings for Juventus midway through an impressive 2011/12 campaign in which he registered a career-best goal tally as the unbeaten Bianconeri won the title.
• Played every game at UEFA EURO 2012 and impressed as Italy reached the final, ultimately falling to a 4-0 defeat by Spain.
• Scored twice in eight UEFA Champions League appearances as Juve progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2012/13 competition, only to be defeated by eventual winners FC Bayern München. Gained consolation with a second successive Scudetto the same season.
UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2012
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