29 June 2023


The characteristics and career of the new Rossoneri goalkeeper

Marco Sportiello is now part of AC Milan’s goalkeeping setup. After a career that has seen him play plenty of Serie A football (especially at Atalanta), the 31-year-old arrives at Milanello at the height of maturity on a technical and athletic level. Coach Pioli will have a reliable and high-quality alternative in the form of the Desio native, who has established himself as a complete goalkeeper. Standing 192 cm tall, he is capable of making a significant contribution both between the sticks and beyond his own box.

It is important to note, for example, that he is comfortable with the ball at his feet, especially with AC Milan’s build-up play in mind. Indeed, his passing ability could prove very useful should he be called upon. Furthermore, he is known to be a good penalty saver. Indeed, the new Rossoneri goalkeeper has denied the likes of Higuaín, Pogba, Quagliarella and Papu Gómez from the spot.

Looking back at his career, it is clear that Sportiello has put in plenty of hard work to reach where he is today. After his early beginnings at Zibido San Giacomo, he became part of Atalanta’s youth sector in 1999. He moved to Seregno in 2010 and went on to enjoy a solid season in Serie D. The following two seasons saw him climb the Italian football pyramid: he played for Poggibonsi in the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione in 2011/12 and then for Carpi in the Prima Divisione in 2012/13. A starter for the Emilian side, he memorably helped them win promotion to Serie B.

It was enough to convince Atalanta to keep him as their back-up goalkeeper to Consigli, and then came his Serie A debut against Catania on 12 January 2014. In 2014/15, he became the Orobici’s starting shot-stopper and, in the following two years, produced some fantastic performances, thus earning the chance to take part in a training camp for the Italian National Team. He didn’t play quite so much in 2016/17, during which he made a loan move to Fiorentina in January. He competed for a starting berth with Tătăruşanu and established himself as the Viola’s first-choice goalkeeper in 2017/18. The following campaign saw him join Frosinone and once again display his qualities, even if he wasn’t able to prevent the Ciociari from being relegated to Serie B in their second-ever season in the Italian top flight.

It was then time for Marco to return to Bergamo for the 2019/20 campaign. He was second to Gollini in the goalkeeping hierarchy but was nevertheless selected by Gasperini for some big matches. One such game took place on 10 March 2020, the date of his Champions League debut, as Atalanta recorded a historic victory in Valencia in the second leg of the round of 16 showdown between the two sides. With Gollini out injured, Sportiello took his place between the sticks and made some important stops at the Mestalla.

Marco then also took to the pitch in the quarter-finals against Paris Saint-Germain, with a further five Champions League appearances following in 2020/21 (he has played seven matches in total in Europe’s elite competition). Last season, despite Musso initially being Gasperini’s first choice, game time wasn’t lacking for Sportiello, who convinced with reliable and assured performances. After spending many years at Atalanta, it is now time for a new adventure with the Rossoneri. Good luck, Marco!

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