2010 World Cup Player Profiles: Vincenzo Iaquinta

Over the next week and a half, here at the Juventus Offside we will be profiling Juventini, their characteristics, and what role they play for their national team. It might not be the most useful for regular readers or general Juventus fans, but I think we Juventini are most apt, perhaps, to describe the quality of these players as we watch them week-in, week-out. We’ve done Italy players Gianluigi Buffon and Claudio Marchisio, Brazil enigma Felipe Melo, and Martin Caceres of Uruguay. Today, we profile Juve diehard Vincenzo Iaquinta, who never gives less than 100%.

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Iaquinta greeting Camoranesi on his first day of Juventus training back in summer 2007

Birthplace: Cutro, Italy, in the Province of Reggio Calabria, though at a young age his parents migrated to Emilia Romagna for work, coincidentally to the town that Carlo Ancelotti is from.

Nickname: The Calabrian Cannon, Vincenzone, apparently also Jack, although I've never heard this.

Estimated Market Value: €15 million.

National Team: Italy, where over at the World Cup Blog, Julian and Paul keep you up-to-date on Azzurri news. (Sister site to The Offside for national teams)

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Personality: Hard worker. His personality is largely what got him into this World Cup squad, as he had a very disrupted club season. Vincenzo is very much a team player, he never complains about being played as a substitute or being played out of position, this is seen for example when Amauri replaced him, he frequently went to celebrate his goals (back when Amauri scored goals) with Iaquinta. In addition to his team player status, he is an extremely hard worker. Vincenzo runs his socks off every game, running onto loose balls and keeping the other teams defense honest. His positional flexibility and hard work are proof of his sacrificial nature.

Preferred Foot: Right-footed.

Media Status: Well known. Iaquinta has been one of Italy's better strikers for some time now, and while he's never really been considered one of the best or a guaranteed starter for Italy, he's always been an important substitute. Outside of Italy, he's somewhat known, he occasionally gets linked with squads like Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, or some English Premier League teams.

Silverware:
With Italy: FIFA World Cup 2006

SOCCER-ITALY/
Unfortunately, he's spent far too much time injured.

Strengths: Iaquinta is a strong, powerful, versatile striker. At 1.91m (6'3") he has a considerable amount of height and is strong in the air, yet at the same time is very fast, considering his stature. His pace allows him to play as a winger, though it is definitely not his ideal situation. He can play as a target man, or as more of a supporting striker, though he is not particularly creative. Powerful shot, strong in the air, a very rounded striker.

Weaknesses: As far as his playing characteristics, there are only a few. He is occasionally wasteful in front of goal, and while he is a very rounded striker, he doesn't have the best of first touches or dribbling skills. Unfortunately, over the last few years Iaquinta has been plagued with injuries, this year he was out for over 100 days with a meniscus problem. We saw last spring, when given some continuity and free of injury problems, Iaquinta was one of the most in-form strikers in Serie A for 6 months or so, however every season he has been set back from injury. It makes one wonder what kind of striker he perhaps could have been if he wasn't constantly injured.


Iaquinta scoring against Ghana on a mistake from Kuffour


Then again, look at the "numero" Toni did to Ghana. If he can "salta un uomo..."

Status on Club Team: Important substitute- Iaquinta has varied in and out of the starting XI during his career, but generally has remained as an impact substitute. There has been constant rumors that other teams are interested in him, and indeed in most teams he would be a lock to start, but Iaquinta has rejected all of them to stay at Juventus, earning himself the status of fan favorites. He bleeds bianconero, as famously shown when he personally wrote a letter to VecchiaSignora.com confirming he would stay at Juventus. With Trezeguet and Amauri potentially leaving this summer, Iaquinta may see more playing time in the future, but it probably depends on his injury status.

2009-2010 Club Season: The last season was one to forget for Iaquinta, as he was out injured with a meniscus injury for over 3 months. He started brightly, scoring goals against Chievo, Livorno, Genoa, etc, until the knee injury occurred. Originally, he was supposed to be back in 45 days, but it more than doubled as he incurred more and more setbacks. He returned at the end of the season and scored a goal or two, but looked very rusty and wasteful in front of goal.

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Will we see this again in South Africa?

Status in National Team: Substitute. A year ago, Iaquinta was in tremendous form and played most of the Confederations Cup, but a year of injury and the emergence of Pazzini means he probably won't start, although his versatility as a winger in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 might push him for the starting nod.

Expected Performance for National Team: It of course depends on how much he plays, but don't expect him to pull a Paolo Rossi this World Cup. He's never exactly found his fit with the National Team, 5 goals in 37 games isn't tremendous for a striker, though he has often been used out of position or as a substitute. He scored once last World Cup, against Ghana in the group stages, and I wouldn't put it past him to bag one this year, though I'd advise against putting money on him to win the Golden Boot.

Random Fact: After winning the 2006 World Cup, Iaquinta got a tattoo on his forearm that says World Champion.

In one word: Sacrificial.

YouTube Comp with semi-Questionable Music:

YouTube Comp Without Questionable Music:


Iaquinta's goals in 2009

World Cup Player Profiles and Other Links:
#1- Gianluigi Buffon
#2- Claudio Marchisio
#3- Felipe Melo
#4- Martin Caceres
#5- Fabio Cannavaro
#6- Vincenzo Iaquinta
#7- Mauro Camoranesi
#8- Christian Poulsen
#9- Giorgio Chiellini
And if you liked this article...
Check out the 2010 Transfer Target Player Profiles
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