Alberto Gilardino (born July 5, 1982 in Biella, Italy) is an
Italian football (soccer) player, who is a striker for A.C.
Milan, and the Italian national team.
He started his career for Piacenza Calcio, playing his first
match in Serie A against A.C. Milan. Then he was sold to Hellas
Verona, for which he played for two season and scoring only two
goals but showing plenty of his explosive, emerging talent.
His career was launched on the international stage in 2002,
after he moved to Parma on explicit request of former Hellas
Verona coach Cesare Prandelli. He scored 5 goals in his first
season playing for the Emilia region side and then 23 goals the
next year, when he ranked as second-placed scorer in Serie A in
the 2003-04 season. He joined AC Milan on July 2005.
He played for the Italian football team during the 2004 Olympics
in Athens, winning the bronze medal. He also led Italy's Under
21 team to victory in the 2004 European Under-21 Football
Championship. He also played for 2002 European U-21 Football
Championship Qualifying round against Hungary and playoff for
Final Tournament, against Poland home legs. He played for
Italian U18 team, reached Intermediary round of 2000 European
Under-18 Football Championship. Barely 24 years old, he is
considered to be one of the strongest strikers of Italy and a
bright hope for the Azzurri future.
He was Voted Best Italian Player and Best Overall Player for the