Fabrizio Miccoli is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a striker. He scored 103 goals in 259 matches in Serie A across nine seasons, representing Perugia, Juventus, Fiorentina and Palermo, also spending time on loan to Benfica in Portugal. He later spent two seasons with his hometown club Lecce in Lega Pro. He retired in 2015 after playing for Maltese club Birkirkara. In a two-year international career, Miccoli scored twice in ten appearances for Italy. After playing at youth level with Milan, Miccoli returned to his native Puglia in 1995 to join Serie C1 team Casarano, where he made his professional debut at age 17. He then agreed for a move to Serie B side Ternana in 1998, where he scored a total 32 goals in 4 seasons, 15 of which in his final year at the club. His performances at Ternana had Miccoli dubbed the “new Del Piero” by many sections of the Italian media.
Did you Know?
Fabrizio Miccoli scored 103 goals in 259 matches in Serie A, across nine seasons in representation of Perugia, Juventus, Fiorentina and Palermo, also spending time on loan to Benfica in Portugal; he later spent two seasons with his hometown club Lecce in Lega Pro. Following his impressive performances, Juventus showed interest in signing the player, and ultimately acquired his transfer rights from Ternana in July 2002, then loaning him to minor Serie A side Perugia for the 2002–03 season. Miccoli showed great qualities during his first season in the top flight, scoring great goals and showing excellent technical ability. He was dubbed the Romario of the Salento, the Maradona of the Salento, and bomber tascabile (pocket bomber), due to his small stature, pace and his technical ability. His efforts helped Perugia reach an UEFA Intertoto Cup spot. For his efforts, he received an Azzurri call-up during the season and Juventus recalled him back for the following season. In a two-year international career, Miccoli scored twice in ten appearances for Italy.
Did you Know?
Usually deployed as a creative second striker, Miccoli was well known throughout his career for his all-round attacking and creative abilities, specifically his technique, pace and his powerful and accurate finishing, both inside and outside the area with either foot. While being a prolific goalscorer, Miccoli was also a regular assist provider. Due to his acceleration, balance, agility, and his technical skills, Miccoli was also capable of playing in a playmaking role, as an attacking midfielder on occasion, a position which allowed him to undertake individual dribbling runs during counterattacks and create chances for teammates. Throughout his career, he was also deployed as a winger, where he demonstrated his ability to beat opposing players in one-on-one situations courtesy of his ball skills and close control, and subsequently cut in onto his right foot to curl shots on goal from the left flank. Miccoli was also an accurate set piece and penalty kick taker. He frequently used the “Panenka” gesture when taking penalties during his playing career, and also often employed a “stutter feint” when taking them, where he would slow down during his run-up and fake a shot before finally kicking the ball. Fabrizio Miccoli made ten appearances for Italy between 2003 and 2004, scoring twice. He made his debut under manager Giovanni Trapattoni against Portugal on 12 February 2003, creating the only goal for Bernardo Corradi. On 30 March 2004, Miccoli scored directly from a corner kick in another friendly match against Portugal. Miccoli featured in UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying matches and received another call-up in a friendly against Finland in November 2004, which ended in a 1–0 win, with the only goal scored by Miccoli from a free-kick. After leaving Juventus on numerous loan stints, Miccoli did not receive any call ups under Marcello Lippi and was not called up to the Azzurri under either Roberto Donadoni nor Cesare Prandelli. Many sections of the Italian media attribute Miccoli’s exclusion from the Italian national side under Lippi due to Miccoli’s role in court during the 2006 Italian football scandal (“Calciopoli”) in which Miccoli testified against Juventus, a club with close relations to Lippi. Notwithstanding, Lippi still spoke positively in the media about Miccoli, referring to him in 2005: “I am constantly keeping him under observation, He’s a big quality player and technically he is really good. He is a genius. Miccoli is a forward that can be really important for all teams in which he plays.” During the 2009–10 Serie A season, there were several calls and speculation within the Italian media and high football figures that Miccoli could make a return to the Azzurri for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and expressed continued interest in playing for the national team. However, Miccoli was not selected for the World Cup and in March 2011, upon return from a serious knee injury, he effectively announced his intentions not to pursue an international career any further. Miccoli is married to Flaviana, a woman he met first when he was 17 and she was 14. Together they have a daughter, Suami, who was born in March 2003. His second child, a son named Diego, was born in June 2008. In early 2010, Miccoli made national news after he purchased an earring belonging to his childhood hero Diego Maradona. The earring had been confiscated by the national tax office during a visit by Maradona to Italy (the Argentine star owing several million euros in taxes to the Italian state). It was sold at a public auction for €25,000. After confirming the purchase, Miccoli revealed he would return the earring to Maradona if he were to meet him. Miccoli is a supporter of Lecce and, before joining them in 2013, had previously expressed an interest in playing for the club in the future. On 22 June 2013, the Italian press agency ANSA reported that the office of public prosecution in Palermo had started investigations against Miccoli for extortion in connection with allegations he commissioned Mauro Lauricella, the son of Sicilian mafioso Antonino Lauricella, to collect money owed to him by a nightclub. Additionally, Miccoli was quoted in wiretaps of taped telephone conversations, published in the newspaper La Repubblica, as referring to the assassinated anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone as “fango”, or “filth” in English. Subsequently, during the 2013–14 season, the FIGC Federal Prosecutor’s Office asked for a disqualification day and a fine of €50,000, but on February 27, 2014 he was acquitted by the Federcalcio Disciplinary Committee. On 20 April 2015, Miccoli was investigated on charges of aggravated extortion because of constant contact with Lauricella to recover €12,000 from a physiotherapist friend at the disco “il Paparazzi” in Isola delle Femmine. In October 2017 Miccoli was sentenced by the Court of Palermo to three years and six months imprisonment, with abbreviated procedure, for extortion aggravated by Mafia method. His sentence was confirmed in an appeal in January 2020.
Did you Know?
This shirt was worn by Fabrizio Miccoli during the Serie A game between Fiorentina and Lecce which took place in Firenze, “Artemio Franchi” Stadium, on October 31st 2004. Fiorentina defeated Lecce 4-0 and at the end of the game Miccoli swapped his shirt with a Lecce’s player whom we got it from. Miccoli joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2005. Half of his registration rights was sold to the team for €7 million. Once in Florence, Miccoli showed his good qualities once again, helping Fiorentina to salvation on the last day of the season, scoring a goal to send Brescia to Serie B. At the end of the season, there was a blind auction between Fiorentina and Juventus to decide his ownership, and Juventus won it by a lump sum of approximately €6.7 million for three players (Miccoli (€2.39M), Enzo Maresca (€7,000) and Giorgio Chiellini (€4.3 million)). Therefore, Miccoli had to return to Turin, but he was sent on loan to Benfica. Juventus also had to pay agent fee of €250,000 for Miccoli’s new three-year contract.