UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2012
• Started out in late teens with Atalanta BC and experienced mixed fortunes in first two seasons − promotion to Serie A in 2003/04, relegation in 2004/05.
• Joined ACF Fiorentina, initially on co-ownership basis; became a Viola player permanently in 2006, emerging as a deep-lying creative midfielder and helping the Tuscan club to fifth place, despite a 15-point deduction.
• Marked first season of European competition, in 2007/08, by helping Fiorentina into the UEFA Cup semi-finals (scored one goal, against Everton FC) and to a fourth-place finish in Serie A.
• Played for Italy at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals and 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing; made his senior international debut in October 2007 against South Africa and although he was cut from the UEFA EURO 2008 squad at the eleventh hour, he featured in all three games at 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
• Scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 5-2 win at Debreceni VSC on matchday 4 of 2009/10 competition; opened his international goalscoring account on his 25th appearance for the Azzurri, a 2-1 victory against world and European champions Spain in an August 2011 friendly in Bari.
• Made four appearances as Italy reached the final of UEFA EURO 2012, where they were defeated by Spain; agreed a four-year deal to join AC Milan in July 2012 upon the expiration of his Fiorentina contract.
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