Mattia De Sciglio has been one of the outstanding players of Milan’s campaign to date, but, as Dylan Fahy writes, his professionalism on and off the pitch has stood out above all else.
Robinho and Riccardo Montolivo led the celebrations for Milan at full-time against Juventus at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Sunday evening. The entire team ran towards the Curva Sud holding hands, as the Brazilian’s controversial first-half penalty secured a narrow victory over the Italian champions. While joining in initially, full-back Mattia De Sciglio was one of the first Rossoneri players to leave the field after shaking hands with his Turin-based counterparts.
“We must keep our feet on the ground and look towards Catania,” asserted 20-year-old – the first Milan player to engage with the Press, before any other senior figure within the squad. The promising youngster’s display throughout was one of a player several years his senior, as he silenced the Bianconeri’s threat down the right side with Kwadwo Asamoah in particular having little to no effect on the game whatsoever. Aiding the midfield, he also blocked Claudio Marchisio’s trademark darting runs into the box whenever possible.
De Sciglio grew up in Rozzano, a small municipality south-west of Milan, and joined the club in 2002. Having spent 10 years in the side’s academy, he was included in the squad for the 2011-12 season and made his debut in the Champions League against Viktoria Plzen. Despite featuring in the derby against Inter, he only played a bit part before being handed the No 2 jersey in the summer ahead of the current campaign. The Milan native has been one of the shining lights in what has been an abysmal start to the season.
Aside from his impressive appearances since breaking on to the scene last year, De Sciglio has hit a chord with the Rossoneri faithful because of his professional attitude on and off the pitch. One of the underlining complaints of the team from seasoned supporters over the past several months have been that certain members of Massimiliano Allegri’s squad are simply ‘unlikeable’ characters. Since the exodus of key figures such as Gennaro Gattuso and Clarence Seedorf, the club has been missing players who represent the values and sentiments of the supporters.
De Sciglio has been forced to deny speculation that he will be a regular in Cesare Prandelli’s Italy line-ups in qualification for the 2014 World Cup following his performance against Juventus. His raw ability only needs time and a consistent run of games to mature to the level in which he could feature on the Azzurri stage. However, there are no doubts that he already has the right kind of attitude to slot straight into the side should Prandelli make that call.