Italy and Internazionale Milano left-back Federico Dimarco, England's semi-final nemesis at the U19 EURO, is the first wonderkid of the 2016/17 season.
Article top media content
A tireless left-back with a thunderous shot, Federico Dimarco is part of the Italy squad preparing for Sunday's UEFA European Under-19 Championship final.
The 18-year-old was the Azzurrini's match winner against England in the last four, scoring a penalty and a free-kick in a 2-1 victory. Those goals make the Internazionale Milano prospect, who will spend the next season on loan at Empoli, the perfect candidate to be UEFA.com's first weekly wonderkid of 2016/17.
Name: Federico Dimarco
Club: Internazionale Milano
Debut: 11 December 2014 for Inter v Qarabağ (UEFA Europa League)
Date of birth: 10/11/1997
Preferred foot: left
They say ...
"He has the makings of a great left-back: his natural proficiency in striking the ball means he is a perfect candidate for this role, especially in a back five. Provide him with adequate support and cover, and he offers a real threat for his team to take advantage of."
Stefano Vecchi, Inter youth coach
"He shows that physical qualities aren't the most important things – his technical qualities are what count. The difference between him and other players is how he manages the game."
Paolo Vanoli, Italy U19 coach, after Dimarco's display against England on Thursday
Inter academy product Dimarco made his debut for the club on 11 December 2014, a month after his 17th birthday, when he came on for the last seven minutes of a goalless draw away to Qarabağ in the UEFA Europa League group stage. He had to wait until the final day of that season for a taste of top-flight action and, after no further appearances, was loaned to Serie B outfit Ascoli in January 2016.
Playing style ...
A left-footed full-back with a powerful and accurate shot, Dimarco is effective at both ends of the pitch. He has an eye for goal too, as England found out to their cost. His double in that semi-final took his tally for the 2015/16 U19 EURO season to five, four of which were penalties.
Shades of ...
Dimarco has been dubbed 'the little David Alaba' by some Italian pundits. Not the tallest, but fast and powerful, Dimarco has some famous Inter left-backs to look up to in Giacinto Facchetti, Andreas Brehme and Roberto Carlos.
Eureka moment ...
His showing against England. Dimarco's double secured Italy a place in the U19 final for the first time since 2008.
Best-case scenario ...
A rough diamond, Dimarco will be polished by a season at Empoli. The case of Inter team-mate and fellow full-back Davide Santon, given his debut aged 17 by José Mourinho in October 2008, offers inspiration.
He says ...
"I see my debut with Inter as a starting point. My career is still in the making and the transition from youth to senior football was demanding, especially in terms of intensity. But playing against good players is the only way to reach their level."
"I look at Jordi Alba and, further back, Roberto Carlos – I try to study them and take parts of their game into my own."