By 90Min
June 23, 2019

Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa introduced himself onto the international stage in a big way in the past week when he produced two moments of magic against Spain in the European Under-21's Championship that's currently underway in Italy. 

He scored a sublime equalising goal in the 36th minute to bring Italy back into the game, before scoring a crucial tap-in that put them ahead in the 64th minute, they then went on to win the game 3-1. This performance attracted a-lot of attention to the 21-year-old who was already valued at well over £50m, and with most of football's elite wishing to sign him, you may need to be filled in on who this young starlet is.

Here are four things you need to know about the Italian wonder-kid.


His Father Is a Footballing Legend

Gabriele Maltinti/GettyImages

Enrico Chiesa was one of the most dynamic strikers of the 90's, well known for his thunderous volleys and powerful whipping free-kicks. He is the joint-ninth highest goalscorer of all time from free-kicks in Serie A, with 13 goals to his name from this set-piece.

He was a lethal striker, whose partnership with Hernan Crespo in the 1998/99 season dominated Serie A. Sadly his career was plagued with injuries that set him back massively towards its latter stages.

He signed for Fiorentina in 1999 and for La Viola he hit his highest goal scoring tally of 34 goals in 59 appearances, and now his son, Federico Chiesa, is producing the same kind of magic twenty years on.

Strangely enough current Italian manager Roberto Mancini has managed both Federico and his dad Enrico, as his first managerial job in football came with managing Enrico at Fiorentina in the 2001/02 season.


He Almost Made Gianluigi Buffon Retire

MARCO BERTORELLO/GettyImages

In a similar vein to the culture shock Mancini must have faced after managing two generations of Chiesa men, Buffon was left shell-shocked once he realised he had played on the same pitch as both men in their prime

When he sat down with Eurosport Buffon said: "I thought it might be time to retire. The first time I faced Chiesa, I was disoriented. It was my first time playing against the son of a former teammates and I thought it might be time to retire. However, I’ve taken on a few now and consider it a gift from life, something to be happy about."


Buffon was teammates with Federico's father at Parma when he was only 18 years of age, when Enrico burst onto the scene at Parma, before transforming I Ducali into one of the most feared teams in Italian football in the late 90's.


He Almost Gave Up on Football

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In an era where shorter players like Lionel Messi, N'golo Kante and Alejandro Gomez are thriving, it seems strange to think that Chiesa nearly gave up on football after being ridiculed for his short stature. 

During his early days at Fiorentina, Chiesa was relegated to play with the Under-15's squad due to his under-developed technique and slight build, leading him to only play one game in the whole season. 

Luckily his father made him prioritise his education as he knew of the cruel nature of the footballing world, Chiesa was enrolled into the International School of Florence where lessons were taught in English, and his fascination with motor studies almost made him pursue a career as a physicist. 

He continued to work his way through the lower levels of La Viola whilst keeping up his studies, being promoted to the Under-19 squad when he completed his degree. After came the biggest change in his fortunes when he was shifted from playing as a central striker, like his father, to the right-wing where he could utilise his small frame and lightning pace more effectively.


 He's Played at One Club His Whole Career

Daniel Bessa,Federico Chiesa

Chiesa started his career in a footballing academy in the north of Florence at the age of five before moving to Fiorentina five years later. He has now been with the Tuscan club for 12 years and has finally begun to establish himself in a similar vein as his father. In 37 appearances in Serie A this season he scored six goals and got seven assists, transforming a dull Fiorentina side into a youthful and exciting force that shocked opponents.

His name alone now inspires faith at the Artemio Franchi as he is continuing the legacy his father initiated almost twenty years ago, and it seems as though La Viola do not want to lose Federico as quickly as they lost Ernesto. 

Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso told Corriere Della Sera that keeping Chiesa at the club is one of his main priorities: "I said on the day of my presentation that Chiesa represented Fiorentina in the national team, for me, he’s the best. I won’t sell him, not even for £100m. We don’t need the money.

“When I make a promise, I keep it. How could I begin my adventure in Florence by selling the player who represents us in the national team? I hope Federico has a great tournament, he’s a player that excites me. He has passion and strength - characteristics I want to see at Fiorentina.”

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