Michelangelo Albertazzi: Kid Defender

Dude! So there’s like this kid who’s like totally awesome. He like loves pizza and is totally funny and likes to prank people and stuff. His name is Michelangelo, but his friends call him Mikey. He and his brothers Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael like to save the world. Oh, and then there’s this other kid who’s also called Michelangelo and is also totally awesome, and he likes to save his team. He’s a 23 year-old center back but can also play at left back. One of these kids is a Milan player, currently on tour in the United States, and one of them is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, coming once again to a theater near you this Friday. I’ll let you figure out which is which.

Two Michelangelos, both trying to save the world... or something

The one who is the footballer is called Michelangelo Albertazzi. He was born in 1991 in Bologna and grew up in the Bologna youth system until 2007, when Milan bought him on a co-ownership deal for a cool €1m. He stayed in Bologna until January of 2008, when Milan bought out his co-ownership for another €1m. He was shown a lot of faith at Bologna, playing with their Primavera as early as 15 or 16 years old. And when he came to Milan, he won the Primavera cup with them in 2010.

But after that, his playing time was significantly impacted as he was loaned out to Getafe for the first half of the 2011-12 season. And by significantly impacted, I mean he didn’t play at all. He came back and was immediately loaned out to Serie B side Varese, where he played a few games for their Primavera team and made only 2 starts for the first team in 6 months. However, he did feature for every Italy squad from U16 to U20 from 2006 through 2011, scoring a total of 5 goals for the various squads.

He showed promise at Bologna

Coming back to Milan, he was originally named to be in the 23 man squad for the Trofeo TIM tournament in 2012, but was then sent to Hellas Verona on a co-ownership deal, who were then in Serie B. He played 19 games and even scored a goal over his 2 seasons with Verona, one in Serie B and another in Serie A. He also had a knee injury during the 2011-12 season that kept him out for two months.

Albertazzi finally came back to Milan this season in a strange way. When a player is co-owned by two clubs and they can’t come to an agreement on him, they go to a blind auction, also known as “going to the envelopes.” Each team puts an amount in an envelope blindly, and when the envelopes are opened, the highest bid wins the player. So Verona’s bid was €375.000, and Milan’s was a cautious €501.000. Meaning they only wanted to spend €500.000, but just in case Verona also were willing to spend that, they added the single Euro. Which means I think they wanted him. I think.

He did well enough vs. Balotelli at Verona

Having won the bid for Albertazzi and seeing as how he’s too old to play for the Primavera, Milan announced he would be joining the first team. There are still rumors of him being sold or loaned, but he did see some decent playing time in the friendlies thus far. This Michelangelo is in a difficult position because he’s likely as good as or better than most of our defenders, but with his age and lack of playing time, he may not get a chance to show it before being shipped off to any interested party.

At the young age of 23, it’s hard to tell if his earlier success and faith shown him was just a fluke or if he is the real deal. And joining Milan at a time like this is hard for a player like him, too, as he is not going to get a lot of faith from the fans if he doesn’t show his quality immediately.

The kid who plays like a man... fishing, shooting, and flying airplanes amongst his hobbies

He may not be the pizza-loving jokester that his TMNT counterpart of the same name is. But he is young and brave and likes to save the world (or at least Milan’s world.)  Only time will tell if he really has what it takes and whether or not this move has been the best for him and his career. So if you are looking for a lot of action, you should probably see the new movie. But if you are looking for a possible new defender rising from the ashes of a storied club, keep an eye out for Michelangelo Albertazzi. He may only be a kid, but he might just surprise you.

This post inspired by pizza

Our next match is
Chivas Guadalajara vs. Milan
Wednesday, August 6 • 9pm EDT
This match is being shown in the US on BeIN Sport

Michelangelo Albertazzi: Kid Defender Michelangelo Albertazzi: Kid Defender Reviewed by Elaine on 8:53 AM Rating: 5
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