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Mattia Cassani

Published: Thursday 2 February 2012, 15.58CET
ACF Fiorentina
Published: Thursday 2 February 2012, 15.58CET

Mattia Cassani

ACF Fiorentina

A tenacious, pacy right-back who ended a productive five-year stint at US Città di Palermo with a summer 2011 loan move to ACF Fiorentina, Mattia Cassani is a challenger to Christian Maggio for a starting berth in Italy's UEFA EURO 2012 team. He started four of the ten qualifying matches, including both games against Northern Ireland.

• Started out with Juventus but was unable to break through with the Turin giants and had a brief spell in Serie B with UC Sampdoria, which ended in promotion, before remaining at second-tier level with Hellas Verona FC.

• Accumulated 118 Serie B appearances for Verona over a three-year period, his consistency earning a move to top-flight Palermo in the summer of 2006.

• Made his European debut for the Sicilians in a UEFA Cup first round tie against West Ham United FC at Upton Park and scored a spectacular first Serie A goal against ex-club Juventus on 6 April 2008 to give Palermo a 3-2 victory.

• Earned widespread recognition as one of Serie A's finest full-backs as he accumulated 161 league appearances for Palermo before returning to the mainland in 2011 when he joined Fiorentina on loan with a view to a permanent transfer.

• First capped for Italy by Marcello Lippi in a November 2009 friendly against Sweden but did not make the cut for the 2010 FIFA World Cup; became much more prominent under new Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli.

Last updated: 07/03/12 18.06CET

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