Following in his father Enrico’s footsteps, Federico Chiesa has quickly become a key player for Fiorentina in his first Serie A season.
Name: Federico ChiesaClub: FiorentinaDebut: 20 August 2016 v JuventusPosition: forwardNationality: ItalianDate of birth: 25 October 1997Preferred foot: rightHeight: 175cm
They say …“Everyone is pushing him to become who he deserves to be. He won our hearts with his energy and enthusiasm. Federico plays with the joy of a child. It’s the best thing you can see in a professional footballer.”Paulo Sousa, Fiorentina coach
Watch Chiesa score in the UEFA Europa League
“My son has a lot of fun playing, and this is the nicest part of it. He has to continue on this path, continue doing well with Fiorentina. A comparison to me? Federico is only 19, let’s give him time to grow. He just has to continue enjoying himself.”Enrico Chiesa, former Fiorentina and Italy striker and father of Federico
Background …Genoa-born Chiesa began his youth career with Settignanese, a Tuscan club based not far from Florence, before moving to Fiorentina aged ten.
Sousa included Chiesa in his pre-season plans last summer and surprised everybody by starting him away to Juventus on the opening weekend of the Serie A campaign. He scored his first senior goal on his tenth appearance, in a 2-1 win against Qarabağ in which he was also sent off.
Playing style …Chiesa is full of energy and determination. Creative and with a nose for goal, he is comfortable on either flank or behind a lone striker, where he has space to attack defenders one-on-one. Chiesa’s first instinct upon receiving possession is to dribble at his nearest opponent.
Enrico Chiesa celebrating a Serie A goal for Fiorentina©Getty Images
Shades of …Comparisons to his father – who bagged 138 Serie A goals during spells with Sampdoria, Cremonese, Parma, Fiorentina, Lazio and Siena – are inevitable. They are reinforced by Federico running and moving the ball in a similar way to Enrico, while the youngster also wears the same No25 shirt at Fiorentina.
Eureka moment …When Fiorentina got their second, ultimately decisive goal at home to Juventus on 15 January, everyone turned to Chiesa, who was celebrating wildly.
The teenager had run across the flight of Milan Badelj’s pass into the penalty area, desperately wafting a leg in an attempt to turn the ball in. His failure to make contact mattered not as Gianluigi Buffon was distracted anyway. The goal was awarded to Badelj, although Chiesa said wryly: “I touched it.”
He eventually struck his first Serie A goal a week later in a 3-0 victory over Chievo.
Federico Chiesa scores his first league goal©Getty Images
Best-case scenario …Chiesa and seventh-placed Fiorentina are trying to earn a place in Europe next season. A convincing UEFA Europa League campaign would help establish him as one of the brightest prospects in Italy.
He says …“I couldn’t believe it when Sousa told me I would be starting against Juventus in August – my knees were trembling. When I scored my first Serie A goal against Chievo I didn’t know what to do. I want to give 200% to improve as a player. I’ve been at Fiorentina for ten years now and will remain for four more. I could not be happier.”