Association football player
|Birth||20 December 1993, Calcinate, Province of Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy|
Andrea Belotti (born 20 December 1993) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Torino and the Italy national team.
Nicknamed Il Gallo (The Rooster), Belotti started his career with AlbinoLeffe. He was later signed by Palermo, where he won a Serie B title in the 2013–14 season, before being signed by Torino in 2015.
He is a former Italy under-19, under-20 and under-21 international, and took part in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2015. He was given his senior national team debut in 2016.
Belotti is nicknamed Il Gallo (The Rooster). The nickname comes from the surname of his close childhood friend, who jokingly suggested he celebrate his goals by mimicking a rooster’s comb with an open hand to his forehead.
He took his first steps as a footballer in the oratory school of Gorlago, and with Grumellese. After an unsuccessful trial with Atalanta, he was signed by AlbinoLeffe and went through their youth system. He made his debut for the first team in the 2011–12 season, when he played eight matches in Serie B and scored two goals. He also scored 13 goals as team top-scorer for the youth team throughout the 2011–12 season, winning a youth title, the Trofeo Dossena, in June 2012.
The following season, he was fully promoted to the first team, and made 31 appearances in Lega Pro Prima Divisione, scoring 12 goals. He also made an appearance during the 2012–13 Coppa Italia. Given the presence in the squad of the defender Mauro Belotti, Andrea was nicknamed Belottino.
On 2 September 2013, he was loaned for a fee of €500,000 (with a buyout clause set at €2.5 million) to Palermo in Serie B. He made his debut with the Sicilians on 24 September 2013, as a substitute for Davide Di Gennaro in a game against Bari, and provided an assist to Kyle Lafferty in a 1–2 loss. He scored his first goal for the Rosaneri on 5 October against Brescia. On 3 May 2014, he was promoted to Serie A after a 1–0 win away to Novara. He closed the season with 10 goals scored in the league. On 18 June 2014, Palermo exercised the right to redeem half of his contract in co-ownership, with an option to redeem the other half for €3.5 million.
He made his debut in Serie A on 31 August 2014, at age 20, as a substitute for Paulo Dybala in a 1–1 draw at home to Sampdoria. On September 12, Palermo announced they had redeemed the remainder of his contract. On 24 September, he scored his first two career goals in Serie A, playing as a starter in a 3–3 draw away to Napoli. On 13 December, he scored the winning goal in injury time against Sassuolo, securing a 2–1 win for Palermo and their seventh consecutive useful result (equalling the record of the 2009–10 season under the coach Delio Rossi). He played in 38 games throughout the season, largely as a substitute, in which he scored six goals.
On 18 August 2015, he was officially signed by Torino for a fee of €7.5 million. He scored his first goal in Serie A for the Granata in a 2–0 win against Bologna. On 16 January 2016, he scored his first brace for Torino in a 4–2 win over Frosinone. On 20 March, Belotti scored from the penalty spot in the 48th minute to halt Juventus goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon’s record of longest consecutive minutes not conceded in a 4–1 home defeat. On 3 April, he scored a decisive penalty that allowed Torino to comeback and defeat Inter, 2–1, at the Stadio Meazza. He scored eleven goals in the second half of the 2015–16 season, and concluded the season with 12 goals in 35 appearances.
Belotti began the 2016–17 season scoring a goal against Milan at the San Siro, but had a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in a 3–2 defeat. The following round, on 28 August 2016, he scored his first career hat-trick in a 5–1 home win against Bologna in Serie A, despite later missing an injury-time penalty during the game. On 25 September he opened the score in a 3–1 victory over Roma; he would also win a penalty after being fouled by former teammate Bruno Peres, and assist Iago Falque for Torino’s third goal. On 4 December he extended his contract with Torino until 2021, with a €100 million release clause valid only to foreign clubs. On 5 March 2017, he wore the captain’s armband for the first time against Palermo, in which he scored the fastest hat-trick in Serie A since 30 January 2000 (seven minutes and 15 seconds), surpassing the previous record belonging to the Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko. The following month, he became the first player under the age of 24 to score 24 goals in a single Serie A season since Shevchenko in 1999–00.
Belotti received his first call-up to the Italy under-19 in December 2011 against the Lega Pro representatives squad; scoring a goal in the match, won 4–2. In the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship elite qualification round he featured as Italy’s centre-forward in the 4–2–3–1 formation, scoring once in three appearances.
Belotti made nine appearance for the under-20 (scoring four goals), before making his debut for the under-21 team on 14 August 2013 in a friendly match won 4–1 against Slovakia. On 5 September he featured in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification lost 3–1 at home to Belgium, scoring his first goal in the group on 14 November in a 3–0 win against Northern Ireland. On 5 September 2014 he scored his first brace for the team against Serbia, in the match won 3–2, valid for the European Championship qualifiers.
Under manager Luigi Di Biagio, Belotti took part in the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic, scoring the opening goal in a 3–1 defeat of England in Italy’s final group match, although the result was not enough to see the Italian under-21 side progress to the semi-finals, as the azzurrini finished third in their group, behind the two eventual finalists Portugal and Sweden.
On 27 August 2016, Belotti was called up to the senior squad for the first time by Gian Piero Ventura for a friendly against France on 1 September and a 2018 World Cup qualification match on 5 September against Israel. He made his senior international debut in the friendly against France, coming on as a substitute in a 3–1 home loss. Belotti scored his first senior goal on 9 October, the opening goal of their third World Cup qualification match, a 3–2 away victory to Macedonia.
Style of play
Early in his career, Belotti played as a midfielder and winger, but under the intuition of Albinoleffe’s Primavera coach, Alessio Pala, he was converted to a forward. He prefers to play as a second striker, but can play anywhere across the front line. Emiliano Mondonico, the manager of the Albinoleffe first team when Belotti played in the youth team described him as “a player of the highest level […] I saw him play and I realised that he was a talent. He is a muscly forward, full of quality. I would call him an old-fashioned centre-forward. He has movement and matches this aspect with great wickedness in front of goal. […] He has to play in front of the goal, as the centre-forward. He can play in all of the roles in attack, a winger, the second striker, but I think he has to play as the striker to take full advantage of his certain characteristics and his eye for goal.” He has also been compared to Roberto Boninsegna and Gianluca Vialli. Belotti’s coach in the Italy under-20, Alberigo Evani, said “there are few like him. He does double duty: he is the first defender for the team, making an important contribution.”
|2012–13||Lega Pro Seconda Divisione||30||12||1||—||—||31||12|
|1||9 October 2016||Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia||Macedonia||1–0||3–2||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|2||12 November 2016||Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein||Liechtenstein||1–0||4–0|
- Serie B: 2013–14