Ignazio Abate (Italian pronunciation: [iɲˈɲattsjo aˈbaːte]; born 12 November 1986) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a full-back. A former winger, he is also capable of playing as a wide midfielder or as a wing-back, and has even been used as a centre-back on occasion; he is renowned for his stamina, quick sprints, and ability to make attacking runs down the right flank. In his prime, he was one of the fastest players in the top leagues of European football.
Abate with Italy in 2012
|Full name||Ignazio Abate|
|Date of birth||12 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Sant'Agata de' Goti, Italy|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|2004–2005||→ Napoli (loan)||29||(2)|
|2005–2006||→ Piacenza (loan)||13||(0)|
|2006–2007||→ Modena (loan)||38||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 May 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 March 2015
Abate started playing football with amateur club Rescaldina, before joining Milan's youth system in 1999 and making his professional debut for the club in December 2003. From 2004 to 2009 he spent five years on various loan spells with several Italian clubs, before going back to Milan. He played an important role in helping Milan win their 18th Scudetto during the 2010–11 Serie A season.
Abate has represented the Italian national team and the Italian U21 national team, and also played for the Italian U19 national team and the Italian U20 national team. Prior to starring for the senior team, he represented his country in the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2009 European U-21 Championship. He made his senior international debut in November 2011, in a friendly match against Poland, and has since then represented the country in UEFA Euro 2012, winning a runners-up medal, at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, winning a bronze medal, and at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Nearly two years after his debut, Abate scored his first international goal against Germany in November 2013.
Abate started playing football with amateur club Rescaldina, before joining Milan's youth system in 1999. During the 2003–04 season, he made his professional debut, playing in a Coppa Italia game against Sampdoria on 3 December. He also made his debut in European competitions, in a Champions League group-stage game versus Celta Vigo on 9 December. In that match he set the record as the youngest Milan player to ever play in the UEFA Champions League, at 17 years and 27 days.
Various loan spells (2004–2007)Edit
For the 2004–05 season he was loaned out to Napoli in Serie C1, where he made 29 appearances and scored 2 goals. In the summer of 2005 he had been set to spend the following season on loan at Serie A side Sampdoria. However, prior to the actual start of the competitions, he was called back and loaned to Piacenza instead, though he only made 13 appearances in his first Serie B season. The following one was more successful for the young winger, who made 38 appearances during his loan spell at Modena.
Serie A debut (2007–2009)Edit
In the 2007–08 season Abate eventually made his Serie A debut, after being acquired by Empoli in a co-ownership deal, for €900,000. That year, he also scored his first goal in Serie A, in a match against Genoa, on 27 April 2008. Following Empoli's relegation, Milan fully purchased him for €2 million as well as Luca Antonini for €2.75M (and sold Nicola Pozzi and Lino Marzoratti for €4.75M total fee) only to send him to Torino in another co-ownership deal, for €2 million. Despite an early injury, he had a good season, appearing in 25 games and scoring 1 goal.
Back to MilanEdit
On 24 June 2009, Milan reclaimed Abate for €2.55 million and this time he was included in the team roster for the upcoming 2009–10 season. After serving mainly as a reserve midfielder in the first few games, he later started to be employed as the regular right back by Milan head coach, Leonardo. He made 36 appearances in his first season back at Milan. Due to his good performances, on 11 February 2010 he was offered and signed an extension to his contract until 2014.
New coach Allegri kept him in the same position for the 2010–11 season. His dribbling skills and speed in the right wing allowed him to outrun opponent defenders, while his crossing into the centre also resulted in goals regularly. His solid defensive play also lent a hand in winning Milan their 18th Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana. He made 37 appearances in total in his second season back at Milan. The following season, Abate was again the starting right back at Milan, making 40 appearances in all competitions. In the 2013–14 season, Abate scored his first Milan goal in a 3–3 draw with Bologna on the 25 September 2013
In the 2014–15 season, Abate captained Milan for the first time in his career, the first time in a 2–0 loss to Palermo on the 2 November 2014. Abate made his 200th Milan appearance on the 9 May 2015, in a 2–1 win over Roma. On 11 June 2015, Milan announced Abate had signed a contract extension to keep him at the club until 2019.
Abate played as a regularly starting right-back in the 2015–16 season. One notable moment for him occurred on 22 February 2016, when he made an excellent sliding tackle on Lorenzo Insigne on the right wing, preventing him from scoring a second goal in a 1–1 away draw against Napoli.
In late March 2017, after initially being sidelined for Milan's following fixtures against Chievo, Juventus, and Genoa, Abate was ruled out for the remainder of the 2016–17 season, due to requiring surgery after suffering "blunt force trauma" to his left eye, after being hit by a ball in the face during a match against Sassuolo on 26 February.
In late 2018, Abate temporarily assumed the role of a centre-back in the wake of an unexpected severe injury crisis that struck the team's defence. In this role, he was praised for his performances by the club's coach, Gennaro Gattuso, and various Italian media outlets alike.
On 19 May 2019, Abate made his final home appearance for Milan in a 2–0 win over Frosinone at the San Siro stadium. During the match, the Milan Ultras of the Curva Sud saluted him by holding up a banner with the message "10 years of commitment and humility. You've gained the respect of the Ultras. Thank you Ignazio." Abate cried after seeing the message. His final appearance for the club came a week later, in a 3–2 away win over SPAL on 26 May.
After playing at various levels of youth international football for Italy, at under-19 and under-20 level, Abate made his debut with the Italian under-21 side in a friendly against Luxembourg, coming off the bench during the second half, on 12 December 2006.
With the Olympic national team coached by Casiraghi, he won the 2008 Toulon Tournament, in which he played four games and scored a goal against the United States. He also took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He then participated in the 2009 European U-21 Championship held in Sweden, making two appearances as Italy reached the semi-finals.
Abate also took part in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup for Italy, making three appearances in the group stage before suffering an injury which kept him out of the semi-finals, as Italy went on to win a bronze medal. Nearly two years after his debut, Abate scored his first international goal in a friendly match against Germany in November 2013, which ended in a 1–1 draw. He was part of Cesare Prandelli's 23-man Italy squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, making 1 appearance throughout the tournament, in Italy's 1–0 defeat against Costa Rica in their second group match, as Italy were eliminated in the group stage.
|A.C. Milan||2003–04||Serie A||0||0||1||0||1[a]||0||—||2||0|
|Napoli (loan)||2004–05||Serie C1||29||2||0||0||—||4||0||33||2|
|Piacenza (loan)||2005–06||Serie B||13||0||0||0||—||—||13||0|
|Modena (loan)||2006–07||Serie B||38||1||3||0||—||—||41||1|
|Empoli (loan)||2007–08||Serie A||24||1||2||1||2[c]||0||—||28||2|
|Torino (loan)||2008–09||Serie A||25||1||2||0||—||—||27||1|
- As of 31 March 2015
|Italy national team|
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
|1.||15 November 2013||Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy||Germany||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
- Italy U-21
- Matteo Calcagni (22 February 2010). "Il transformer Ignazio Abate" [Ignazio Abate the Transformer] (in Italian). Milan News. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Edoardo Allegrucci (2 December 2018). "Milan, un super Abate da difensore centrale contro il Parma" (in Italian). www.calcionews24.com. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- Vincenzo Vasta (5 May 2010). "Abate: velocità al servizio del gruppo" [Abate: speed at the group's service] (in Italian). Milan News. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Luca Persico (2 June 2014). "Italy's World Cup 23". Football Italia. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
- Alessandra Bocci (22 September 2009). "Fedeltà Abate "Niente estero io studio qui"". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- "Seconda Squadra 2003/2004". acmilan.com (in Italian). Associazione Calcio Milan. Archived from the original on 9 October 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
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- "Milan youngster set for record books". Football Italia. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
- "Abate per la Samp". uefa.com (in Italian). Union of European Football Associations. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- AC Milan Spa 2007 Annual Report Archived 25 April 2011 at WebCite (in Italian)
- "Empoli raid Rossoneri for trio". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- "Genoa vs. Empoli – 27 April 2008". soccerway.com. 27 April 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Empoli FC SpA bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2008 (in Italian), PDF purchased from Italian CCIAA
- "A.C. Milan official announcement". acmilan.com. Associazione Calcio Milan. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2010.[dead link]
- AC Milan Spa 2008 Annual Report Archived 14 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian)
- "Torino sign Abate". worldsoccer.com. 24 July 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "AC Milan Group 2009 Annual Report" (PDF). AC Milan (in Italian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
- "A.C. Milan official note". acmilan.com. Associazione Calcio Milan. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2010.[dead link]
- "A.C. Milan official note". acmilan.com. Associazione Calcio Milan. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.[dead link]
- "Abate and Antonini commit to Milan". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
- "Ignazio Abate signs new deal at AC Milan lasting until 2019". ESPN FC. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Milan, trauma all'occhio per Abate: la stagione è già finita". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). 22 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Abate breaks into tears as he salute AC Milan after 10 years". Calciomercato.com. 19 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
- Daniele Triolo (27 May 2019). "Spal-Milan, le pagelle: Kessie top; Abate addio incolore" (in Italian). www.pianetamilan.it. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Italia – Lussemburgo". figc.com (in Italian). Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "U-21 Italy – U-21 USA 2:0". footiemag.com (in German). 25 May 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "Italy – Squad list". fifa.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- "Italy – Italy Under 21". soccerway.com. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- "Balotelli e Pazzini rispondono alla chiamata: l'Italia vince in Polonia" (in Italian). FIGC. 11 November 2011. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Ranocchia and Destro miss Italy cut". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- "Una Spagna travolgente fa la storia" (in Italian). UEFA.com. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Inviata alla FIFA la lista per la Confederations Cup: c'è anche Barzagli" (in Italian). FIGC. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Prandelli: "Abbiamo mostrato personalità, queste partite fanno crescere"" (in Italian). FIGC. 23 June 2013. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Riccardo Pratesi (15 November 2013). "Italia-Germania 1-1. Abate risponde a Hummels. Buon test per Prandelli". La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian). Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Ben Smith (20 June 2014). "Italy–Costa Rica (0–1)". BBC. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Zico: Italy pay price for over-reliance on Andrea Pirlo and must rebuild". The Guardian. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Ignazio Abate, amore a Formentera". vanityfair.it (in Italian). Vanity Fair. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- Lorenzo Turati (21 November 2011). "Abate, la maturità e... Matteo!". spaziomilan.it (in Italian). Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- "Giocatore - IGNAZIO ABATE". Lega Serie A. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "Ignazio Abate - SW Profile". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Abate, Ignazio". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Italy Under-21s Champions Of Toulon". Goal.com. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Profile at AIC website (in Italian)[dead link]
- Ignazio Abate at ESPN FC
- Ignazio Abate – FIFA competition record
- Ignazio Abate – UEFA competition record
- Profile at FIGC website (in Italian)[dead link]
- "Career Statistics on Lega Calcio website" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)