Clubs: AC Cesena, FC Forli (loan), AC Bellaria Igea Marina (loan), AC Pavia (loan), Juventus, Sunderland AFC
• A native Tuscan, he joined AC Cesena at 19 and represented the club at youth-team level before spending lengthy loan stints at three Serie C2 teams – FC Forli, AC Bellaria Igea Marina and AC Pavia.
• Back in harness at Cesena in 2008, he made a major contribution to the Seahorses' promotion from Serie B in 2009/10, scoring eight goals in 32 appearances as they finished runners-up to US Lecce.
• Took to Serie A with aplomb, helping to keep Cesena in the division with seven goals – the first in an early-season 2-0 win against AC Milan, the last in a 1-0 victory over Brescia Calcio that secured the club's safety.
• Rewarded for his 2010/11 efforts with a €3m transfer to Juventus; failed to claim a regular place in Antonio Conte's side but made nine starts and 14 substitute appearances in the Scudetto-winning campaign, scoring one goal.
• Received his first international recognition at any level, at the age of 27, when he was included in Italy's UEFA EURO 2012 squad; made two appearances in Poland and Ukraine as Italy finished as runners-up to Spain.
• Scored three times in Seria A as Juve regained their title in 2012/13 before making a transfer to England in the summer of 2013, signed by fellow italian Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland.
UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2012
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