Euroscout: Diego Contento


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Ahead of Chelsea's Champions League final against Bayern Munich, we look at the relative novice who may be forced to fill in at left-back for the German club.

Full name: Diego Armando Contento
Date of birth: May 1, 1990 (22 years old)
Place of birth: Munich
Nationality: German (also Italian)
Height: 1.76m (5ft 9in)
Position: Left-back
Current club: Bayern Munich
Previous clubs: None

Named after the great Diego Armando Maradona, Contento may have initially

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disappointed his parents by taking up the full-back trade but on Saturday he can achieve a feat that not even El Diego managed during his tempestuous but brilliant playing career: winning the European Cup.

With David Alaba one of seven players suspended for the showpiece event at Munich's own Allianz Arena, three of whom come from the German giants, Bayern must decide whether to bring in Rafinha and move captain Philipp Lahm to left-back, or place their trust in a 22-year-old with only six Champions League appearances to his name.

Coach Jupp Heynckes certainly appears to be leaning towards the selection of Contento, as he was summoned from the bench to replace Alaba for the final 21 minutes of Saturday's heavy DFB Pokal final defeat to Borussia Dortmund, while Rafinha remained sat firmly on the bench.

If the attack-minded full-back does start against Chelsea, it will complete an impressive rise from the Bayern youth ranks to the very pinnacle of the European game.

Contento was born in the city of Munich to Italian parents - who hailed from Napoli, hence the Maradona adoration - and has represented his hometown club at every level through to the senior side. He is also a youth international for Germany, but has revealed a preference to play for Italy if possible in future.

Having been performing previously with the Bayern reserves in the third tier, it was quite a step up for Contento when he was parachuted into the first team at the start of 2010 but he ended the season as a double winner as Bayern secured the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal under Louis van Gaal.

Though he was an unused substitute in the 2010 Champions League final defeat to Inter, such was Contento's impact in the final months of the season, and the two legs of the semi-final victory over Lyon, the German club were convinced to hand him a new contract in May and drop plans to sign Ajax's Gregory van der Wiel or Benfica's Fabio Coentrao following the World Cup in South Africa.

Having flitted in and out of Van Gaal's team in 2010-11, he has featured only sporadically under current coach Jupp Heynckes over the past season - starting only five games in the Bundesliga and one in the Champions League -  as his impact has been lessened by the emergence of Alaba, who proved in the semi-final win over Real Madrid that his move from midfield to full-back was a prescient one.

However, with his team-mate missing due to suspension and Rafinha seemingly out of favour, Contento has the chance to join Lahm in Bayern's full-back positions and become the first Diego Armando to rule Europe.

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Underlining Contento's relative lack of experience is the fact that his opposite number, if he does indeed play in Saturday's final, will be arguably the most accomplished left-back in world football. Our infographic demonstrates the disparity between Bayern's young hopeful and Chelsea's Ashley Cole:

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Analysis from Bayern's 5-2 defeat in the DFB Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, May 12.

69' - Contento comes on for Alaba, who has had a difficult evening against Dortmund's slick atack.

71' - He slips a pass into Franck Ribery and then shows his attacking intent by running beyond the France international. However, Contento checks back when he runs out of space and plays the ball backwards.

73' - The full-back gets into an advanced position again but his low cross is cleared at the near post by Mats Hummels.

77' - Comes forward to link up again with Ribery and plays a pass in for the Frenchman, who sees his right-footed effort saved.

81' - Contento is caught out of position when a ball comes into the box and Manuel Neuer makes a critical error, allowing Lukasz Piszczek to cross for Robert Lewandowski to head home.

84' - He helps clean up at the back and clear as Dortmund threaten to score another. Ivan Perisic is eventually dispossessed.

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