Sandro Tonali

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Sandro Tonali
Rsz 1italy-v-switzerland-2022-fifa-world-cup-qualifier (cropped).jpg
Tonali in 2022
Personal information
Full name Sandro Tonali[1]
Date of birth (2000-05-08) 8 May 2000 (age 22)
Place of birth Lodi, Italy
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[2]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
AC Milan
Number 8
Youth career
2009–2012 Piacenza
2012–2017 Brescia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2021 Brescia 88 (6)
2020–2021AC Milan (loan) 25 (0)
2021– AC Milan 36 (5)
National team
2018 Italy U19 12 (0)
2019–2021 Italy U21 11 (0)
2019– Italy 11 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 17:00, 23 May 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 11 June 2022

Sandro Tonali (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsandro toˈnaːli]; born 8 May 2000) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club AC Milan and the Italy national football team.

Club career[edit]

Brescia[edit]

2017–2019: Serie B[edit]

Tonali made his professional debut for Brescia Calcio on 26 August 2017, aged 17, coming on as a substitute in the Serie B away match lost 2–1 against Avellino.[3] On 28 April 2018 he scored his first professional career goal, in a 4–2 defeat against Salernitana in Serie B.[4] He obtained 19 league appearances in total during his first season as a professional player, scoring two goals and providing two assists during the 2017–18 Serie B season.[5]

The following season, Tonali won the Serie B title with Brescia, and achieved promotion to Serie A, featuring as a starter for the club throughout the entire 2018–19 season.[6]

2019–2020: Serie A[edit]

He made his Serie A debut on 25 August 2019, aged 19, in a 1–0 away win against Cagliari.[7] On 29 September, he assisted Mario Balotelli's goal from a corner kick in a 2–1 away loss to Napoli; he also scored a goal during the match with a powerful shot from outside the area, which was disallowed by VAR, however, for a foul by Brescia's Dimitri Bisoli on Napoli's Nikola Maksimović.[8] He scored his first Serie A goal on 26 October, netting a long-range free kick into the top corner from the left flank, which was the opening goal in an eventual 3–1 away defeat to Genoa.[9][10]

2020–2021: Loan to AC Milan[edit]

On 9 September 2020, Tonali joined AC Milan,[11][12] on a season-long loan for €10 million with an option to buy for €15 million, plus bonuses worth €10 million.[13] The player will earn a yearly wage of €2 million for five years.[13] Three days later, he made his non-competitive debut in a friendly at Milanello against his former club Brescia.[14]

Tonali made his competitive debut for Milan on 17 September 2020, coming on as a substitute in the 83rd minute in a 2–0 victory against Shamrock Rovers FC in the second round of Europa League qualifying. He made his Serie A debut for Milan on 21 September 2020, coming off the bench in the 77th minute in a 2–0 victory over Bologna F.C. 1909 at the San Siro. Tonali finished the season with 37 appearances, 23 of those in the starting eleven.

AC Milan[edit]

2021–2022: Serie A champion[edit]

On 8 July 2021, Milan officially purchased Tonali's rights from Brescia and he signed a five-year contract with the club.[15] He took a pay-cut to secure his childhood dream move to Milan and was praised by the fans on social media for this gesture.[16]

Tonali scored his first goal with Milan's shirt on 29 August 2021 against Cagliari, a free kick that opened the scoresheet in eventual 4–1 win.[17] On 3 October at Gewiss Stadium against Atalanta, Tonali dispossessed the ball from Freuler and ran to the opponents box to score the second goal in eventual 3–2 victory for Milan.[18] On 25 February 2022, Tonali assisted Leao's goal against Udinese, becoming the youngest midfielder to have scored more than one goal (two) and delivered more than one assist (two) in Serie A that season.[19]

On 24 April as the match against Lazio was heading to 1–1 draw, Tonali scored the winner in the stoppage time, securing the lead for his team in Serie A table.[20]

On 8 May 2022, his 22nd birthday, Tonali scored an equalizing and a winning goal in the 3–1 away Serie A victory against Hellas Verona, with both goals assisted by Rafael Leão in a similar manner. Before that, he also scored an opening goal which was eventually disallowed due to small offside.[21] The comeback victory brought Milan back on top of the Serie A following Inter's 48-hour stay there in a close championship race. Tonali is also the youngest midfielder to have scored five or more goals in Serie A this season (and the second-youngest among all players, older only than Bologna's Aaron Hickey).[22]

After 3-0 away win against Sassuolo on 22 May, Milan secured their first Scudetto in 11 years, In total, Tonali played 36 games in this campaign, scoring 5 goals and providing 3 assists.

Tonali's performance this season brought the attention and praise of renowned Italian football pundits, the likes of Di Canio, Donadoni and Capello, the latter went on to state that Tonali would've found a place in even the greatest of Milan's generation in the past.[23][24]

International career[edit]

Youth[edit]

With the Italy U19 he took part in the 2018 European Under-19 Championship, reaching the final of the tournament, where Italy lost 4–3 after extra time against Portugal.[25]

He made his debut with the Italy U21 team on 21 March 2019, in a 0–0 friendly draw against Austria in Trieste.[26] He took part in the 2019 European Under-21 Championship.[27]

Senior[edit]

In November 2018, he was called for the first time to the senior national team by manager Roberto Mancini.[28] After appearing for the Italy U21 side in a 0–0 away draw against Ireland on 10 October 2019, in a European qualifier, he was called up to the Italy senior squad once again the following day, for the team's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Liechtenstein.[29]

Tonali made his senior international debut on 15 October 2019, coming on as a substitute in the 5–0 away win against Liechtenstein in Vaduz.[30] His first start for Italy came in his following appearance on 15 November, a 3–0 away win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[31]

Style of play[edit]

Regarded as a promising young Italian player in his position in the media, Tonali is a regista,[32] and is often likened to Andrea Pirlo – who also started his career with Brescia – in terms of his movement, coordination, appearance, technical qualities, position, and playing style.[5][6][33][34] A strong, energetic, elegant, and creative midfielder, with excellent vision and an ability to read the game,[35] Tonali usually plays in a central or defensive midfield role as deep-lying playmaker in a 4–3–3 formation,[36][37] and shows maturity and character beyond his young age.[38] Dictating play for Brescia with his passing in midfield, he set up two goals and even scored two himself in his 19 appearances in Serie B during the 2017–18 season.[5][39][33] Although naturally right-footed, he is known for his accurate long passing ability with either foot.[35] Moreover, he is also adept at taking set-pieces.[40]

In addition to Pirlo, Tonali has also cited Steven Gerrard and Luka Modrić as influences, and has also compared his own playing style to that of Gennaro Gattuso.[41] In July 2019, he was named by UEFA as one of the 50 promising young players to watch for the 2019–20 season.[42]

Personal life[edit]

In October 2020, Tonali tested positive for COVID-19.[43]

Tonali is a Milan fan since childhood.[44][45]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 22 May 2022[46]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Coppa Italia Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Brescia 2017–18 Serie B 19 2 0 0 19 2
2018–19 Serie B 34 3 0 0 34 3
2019–20 Serie A 35 1 1 0 36 1
Total 88 6 1 0 89 6
AC Milan 2020–21 Serie A 25 0 1 0 11[a] 0 37 0
2021–22 Serie A 36 5 3 0 6[b] 0 45 5
Total 61 5 4 0 17 0 82 5
Career total 149 11 5 0 17 0 171 11
  1. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League (including qualifying rounds)
  2. ^ Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League (including qualifying rounds)

International[edit]

As of match played 11 June 2022[47]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Italy 2019 3 0
2020 1 0
2021 2 0
2022 5 0
Total 11 0

Honours[edit]

Brescia

AC Milan

Italy U19

Individual

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comunicato Ufficiale N. 283" [Official Statement No. 283] (PDF) (in Italian). Lega Serie A. 30 July 2020. p. 3. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Sandro Tonali #4 - Brescia Calcio".
  3. ^ "Game Report by Soccerway". Soccerway. 26 August 2017.
  4. ^ Angelo Taglieri (28 April 2018). "Tonali, primo gol in carriera: Juve e Inter lo hanno già chiesto, il Milan..." (in Italian). www.calciomercato.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Nikita Fesyukov (14 October 2018). "Introducing Tonali, 'the next Pirlo' wanted by Sarri and Allegri". www.calciomercato.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Rahaman, Vijay (26 July 2019). "Brescia back in business". Football Italia. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Juventus and Milan dealt blow as Brescia will keep Tonali". www.calciomercato.com. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Napoli 2 - 1 Brescia". Football Italia. 29 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Juventus held to draw at Serie A struggler Lecce". TSN. 26 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  10. ^ "3 subs, 3 goals as Motta's Genoa debut goes to plan". The Score. 26 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Official Statement: Sandro Tonali". A.C. Milan. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Tonali ceduto a titolo temporaneo". www.bresciacalcio.it (in Italian). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Mercato, Tonali al Milan: ci sono firma e annuncio". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Milan-Brescia 3-1: Il tabellino dell'amichevole".
  15. ^ "OFFICIAL STATEMENT: SANDRO TONALI". A.C. Milan. 8 July 2021.
  16. ^ "Tonali reveals why he accepted pay cut to stay at Milan and admits:there were other clubs". 21 July 2021.
  17. ^ "AC MILAN HIT FOUR IN HOME OPENER". acmilan. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  18. ^ "DOMINANT AC MILAN EMERGE VICTORIOUS IN BERGAMO". acmilan. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  19. ^ "AC MILAN V UDINESE: THE NUMBERS FROM THE GAME". acmilan. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  20. ^ "COMEBACK IN THE CAPITAL". acmilan. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  21. ^ "Le pagelle di Tonali: siamo a livelli extraterrestre, leader del Diavolo a 22 anni". MilanNews. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  22. ^ "HELLAS VERONA V AC MILAN: THE NUMBERS FROM THE GAME". ACMILAN. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  23. ^ Mork, Martin (4 October 2021). "DONADONI AND DI CANIO ON TONALI: 'HE HAS IMPROVED A LOT'". Football Italia. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Capello: "Rossoneri, la ricetta per vincere. Tonali? avrebbe giocato anche nel grande Milan"". La Gazetta dello Sport. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Under-19 - Portugal win epic U19 EURO final". UEFA. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  26. ^ "A Trieste è pari contro l'Austria: buona la prima mezz'ora dell'Italia ma il match finisce a reti bianche". figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  27. ^ "Parte l'avventura europea: Di Biagio ufficializza la lista dei 23 Azzurrini". figc.it (in Italian). FIGC. 6 June 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Nazionale di calcio: Mancini convoca Tonali, Balotelli resta fuori" (in Italian). BsNews. 9 November 2018.
  29. ^ "Italy promote Tonali to seniors". Football Italia. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Historic manita in Liechtenstein". Football Italia. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Italy: Dominant display in Bosnia". Football Italia. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Agent: 'Tonali better than Pirlo!'". Football Italia. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  33. ^ a b Angelo Taglieri (30 July 2018). "Inter, Juve e Roma avvisate: per Tonali Cellino studia un affare alla Nainggolan" (in Italian). www.calciomercato.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  34. ^ Gian Paolo Laffranchi (5 February 2018). "Brescia al passo di Tonali in viaggio sulle orme di Pirlo" (in Italian). www.bresciaoggi.it. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  35. ^ a b Piazzola, Andrea (30 October 2018). "Chi è Sandro Tonali, il piccoletto che studia da Pirlo" (in Italian). www.calcionews24.com. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  36. ^ Fabio Pettenò (9 July 2018). "Brescia, rifondazione in atto: cambia più di metà squadra" (in Italian). www.bresciaoggi.it. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  37. ^ Alessandro Rubichini (7 September 2018). "Analisi del Singolo: Sandro Tonali del Brescia". AIAPC (in Italian). Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  38. ^ "Bresciaingol - Brescia calcio - News, esclusive, diretta partita, calcio mercato, giovanili, calcio femminile". www.bresciaingol.com. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Sandro Tonali" (in Italian). www.tuttocalciatori.net. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  40. ^ Bushe, Lee (13 May 2020). "Why Sandro Tonali Could Become a Better Player Than Andrea Pirlo". 90min.com. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  41. ^ "Brescia, Tonali: 'I am ready for the Serie A. Pirlo? I am more like Gattuso...'". www.calciomercato.com. 27 July 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  42. ^ "50 for the future: UEFA.com's ones to watch in 2019/20". UEFA.com. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  43. ^ "Qualificazioni europee: sarà la Nazionale Under 20 ad affrontare la Repubblica d'Irlanda" (Press release) (in Italian). Italian Football Federation. 12 October 2020. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  44. ^ "GdS: Milan fans are crazy about Tonali and his incredible growth this season". sempremilan. 6 November 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  45. ^ Yokhin, Michael (15 September 2021). "AC Milan: Is Sandro Tonali the new Andrea Pirlo?". BBC. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  46. ^ "Sandro Tonali". Soccerway. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  47. ^ "Tonali, Sandro" (in Italian). FIGC. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  48. ^ "Milan secure 1st Serie A title in 11 years". News18 India. 22 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  49. ^ "Under-19 EURO team of the tournament". UEFA. August 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  50. ^ "Gran Galà del calcio AIC 2018: Icardi il miglior giocatore 2017-2018. Tutti i premi" (in Italian). sport.sky.it. 3 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  51. ^ "Gran Gala del Calcio 2019 winners". Football Italia. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  52. ^ Malik, Muqaddam (16 December 2020). "AC Milan Midfielder Wins The 2020 Golden Boy Award For Italy". The AC Milan Offside. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  53. ^ "IFFHS".
  54. ^ "Sandro Tonali EA Sports Player of the Month for May". Serie A. 19 May 2022. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  55. ^ "Milan, Tonali premiato come miglior mezz'ala: "Un onore e una gioia?". Pianeta Milan. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.

External links[edit]