Once upon a time, the future of Italian soccer was in the hands of a very acrobatic forward who enchanted every single stadium of Serie A week after week with very beautiful performances and goals. For several years, this striker was recognized as an authentic star while paying his dues in the so-called medium-level clubs, such as Sampdoria, Udinese and the mediocre Napoli clubs of a few years ago.
This man is Fabio Quagliarella, who reached his final partnership with the Nazionale during their shameful adventures in the South African World Cup. As a matter of fact, by only playing the second half of the last game against Slovakia, the 31-year-old almost led the Azzurri to a miraculous qualification by scoring a beautiful goal and performing like a leader.
Even more, only one month later, he was finally approached by a big club as he was signed by Juventus, who was still trying to get back on its feet after the relegation in Serie B. The forward from Castellammare di Stabia rapidly made an impact with the Old Lady during the first half of the season, in which he scored nine goals in 17 games.
For manager Luigi Del Neri, Quagliarella’s good form kept the team high in the standings. Unfortunately for the fans, this ended on January 6, 2011, when the striker suffered a serious knee injury during the first game of the year, tearing his ACL.
This injury without a doubt led the Bianconeri to a significant decline as they finished the season in the seventh position. It even resulted in the player parting from a glorious career. Even though he has managed to score some important goals and won two Scudetti in a row, Quagliarella never returned to be what he was prior to the tear.
The most recent demonstration of his decline came only yesterday, when the current manager Antonio Conte did not include his name in the official roster presented to UEFA for the Europa League. It’s a very remarkable gesture from a coach who only two years ago assured that Quagliarella would never leave the club while he was in charge.
However, despite Conte’s trust, the player was never able to find the desired consistency on the field ever since he recovered from the injury. For this reason, he hasn’t even been considered for an eventual return to the Nazionale, a team that he undoubtedly belongs to regardless of his shape.