A profile of Italy’s gentle giant Donnarumma
Gianluigi Donnarumma was inducted into football by his uncle Ernesto at the pitches of Castellammare.
To the delight of his family, Donnaruma immediately developed a passion for the sport. He was then enrolled into Napoli Football academy at the age of 4, with a dream of being a Goalkeeper, with the capable hands of his Uncle and Keeper Coach, Ernesto.
At the age of 10, he stood at a height of over 1.82M tall, questioning his age, forcing his mother to carry along his Birth Certificate during the local leagues near their home in the Gulf of Naples since he would stand a foot taller than all the other players and was accused of being too old for the categories he was participating in. At the Age of 14, he joined AC Milan and was promoted to the first team in the season 2015/16.
Donnarama is the 2nd youngest goalkeeper ever to debut in Seria A at the age 16 Years and 242 days. He is also the youngest player to feature for Under 21 at 17 Years, 6 Month. He later made his senior debut at 17 Years when he was already the AC Milan’s first keeper.
As the curtains fell on EURO 2020 at Wembley Stadium yesterday, Italy took the cup after a 1 – 1 draw in 90 Minutes and extra time. Italy won 3-2 on post-match penalties with the outstanding keeper Donnarama being the hero with 2 fine saves and was named Player and the Goalkeeper of the tournament. His record stands as the second keeper to win the award after Peter Schmeichel in 1992, He played 719 Minutes across Euro 2020, clocking the highest time played more than any other player.
“Am elated to be in this team l dedicate our win to team work and patience, am humbled to be the Best player & one-day l hope l’ll bag the Balon D’or” he said.
In his 5 years at AC Milan he won the Supercoppa Italiana, after contract talks stalled the negotiations as he plans to head to Paris to join PSG.