Monday, March 19, 2018

19 March 1976 - A Born Defender

On 19 March 1976, four-time Serie A Defender of the Year Alessandro Nesta was born in Rome.

He started his career at Lazio, joining their youth academy in 1985. They tried him at striker and midfielder before establishing him at center back. In 1993, he signed a professional contract and became an established starter during the 1995-96 season, making a total of 28 appearances.

By 1997, he had become Lazio's captain and led the team to the 1998 Coppa Italia, followed by the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 2000, he won a second Coppa Italia that was paired with the club's first league title since 1974. That season also saw him win the first of four consecutive Serie A Defender of the Year awards.

In the summer of 2002, he moved to AC Milan in a deal worth €31M. In ten seasons there, he won another pair of Scudettos (2004, 2011), a Coppa Italia (2003), two Champions League titles (2003, 2007), and the FIFA Club World Cup (2007).

Along the way, he made 78 appearances for Italy between 1996 and 2006, though he missed the 2006 World Cup Final due to injury.

Nesta left Milan in 2012 and played two seasons for the Montreal Impact, then joined Chennaiyin FC for one season before retiring in 2014. He then moved into management, taking charge of Miami FC for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

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