Clubs: Reggina Calcio, Juventus, AS Bari, AC Chievo Verona, AS Roma
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: winner 2000
• Born in the English town of Ashton-under-Lyne, he moved to Italy at the age of six; began his career in Serie B with Reggina before joining Juventus, where he failed to settle and was sent on loan to Bari.
• Won the European U21 title with Italy in 2000 but after relegation with Bari a year later he moved to Chievo and helped the unsung Verona club to a remarkable fifth-place finish in 2001/02.
• First capped by Italy in November 2002, the versatile midfielder played in 20 successive internationals, including three at UEFA EURO 2004, where he scored his first international goal (against Bulgaria); although he had just 25 minutes of playing time in 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying he was reintroduced to the squad for the finals in Germany, where he started every match in the Azzurri's triumphant campaign.
• Left Chievo for Roma in 2004 for €7.2m and figured prominently in the Giallorossi's 2007 Coppa Italia win, scoring in each leg of both the semi-final and final against FC Internazionale Milano; retained the trophy the following year, again scoring in the showpiece, against Inter, before going on to represent Italy at UEFA EURO 2008.
• Runner-up in Serie A for the fourth time in 2009/10 as Roma narrowly lost out to Inter; scored five Serie A goals for the fourth time in his six seasons at the Stadio Olimpico, his best tally being eight in 2006/07.
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