With Juan Cuadrado completing his move from ACF Fiorentina to Chelsea FC, UEFA.com's editiorial team in Italy give the lowdown on the stylish Colombian.
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One of the most feared wide men in Serie A, Colombian international Juan Cuadrado has departed ACF Fiorentina after two and a half seasons to join UEFA Champions League contenders Chelsea FC. UEFA.com profiles a player whose pace and electric dribbling earned him the nickname 'Vespa' (wasp) after the famous Italian scooter – and who will be expected to provide the sting in the tail for the Blues as they chase three trophies.
Clubs: CD Independiente Medellín, Udinese Calcio, US Lecce (loan), ACF Fiorentina, Chelsea FC.
UEFA honours: none
• Born in Necocli, Colombia, in 1988, the winger progressed through the country's lower tiers before signing for Independiente Medellín in 2007. The following year he was drafted into the first team and was soon attracting glances from across the Atlantic. Udinese – a club known for their successful South American scouting – brought him to Europe in 2009, the youngster given a five-year deal.
• Cuadrado spent two seasons at the Stadio Friuli, playing only 20 times in Serie A and failing to register a goal, until was loaned out to Lecce for the 2011/12 campaign.
• Found a true admirer in Lecce coach Serse Cosmi and his performances grew in quality and consistency. Claimed his first Serie A goal in November 2011, against AC Cesena, and impressed with three strikes in 33 appearances despite relegation. "When he came to Lecce, I immediately felt he was ready to break through," remembered Cosmi. "He is an irrational player but this is also his strong point. He is the kind of player that fans like to watch, but he's pragmatic at the same time."
• Loaned to Fiorentina for 2012/13, he netted five goals in 36 games to convince the Viola to make the move permanent the following summer. "Did you have a scooter yesterday? I thought you were on a Vespa up and down that flank," veteran striker Luca Toni told Cuadrado after a great display against Juventus in 2012.
• Enjoyed an excellent 2013/14 campaign in Florence, notching 11 Serie A goals and three in the UEFA Europa League. A solo run and delicate lob finish became his trademark as he reached footballing maturity under coach Vincenzo Montella.
• The versatile Cuadrado also excelled for Colombia in their run to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup, scoring against Japan and providing four assists.
• Inked a new contract with Fiorentina in October, committing himself to the Viola until 2019 – but Chelsea matched the release clause this week, reported to be about €30m.
"Cuadrado loves to play wide on the flank, he like to 'feel' the touchline because he can be unpredictable for the opposition from there, but he is also improving in playing as a second forward. He could offer more options in attack in this role."
Fiorentina coach Montella
"Cuadrado is one of the best young players in Europe. On his best days, not even the best full-back in the world can do anything to stop him. You can only try to limit him with the shape of the whole team, but he can beat any defender in a one-on-one situation. He can be devastating."
Atalanta BC boss Stefano Colantuono
"With Florence it was love at first sight. My mum Marcela loves the city as well – she wanders around town amazed by its beauty."