Euroscout: Paolo De Ceglie


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De Ceglie (right) celebrates a goal

Ahead of their Champions League Group E clash with Chelsea, we take a look at highly-rated Juventus winger Paolo De Ceglie.

Name: Paolo De Ceglie

Date of birth: 17 September 1986

Place of birth: Aosta

Nationality: Italian

Height: 1.84m

Position: Left-back or left midfield

Current club: Juventus

Former club: Siena

De Ceglie's place in the Juventus side appeared to be under threat over the summer as Udinese's Pablo Armero was among those linked with a move to the club, but he has started this season superbly.

The 26-year-old has flourished in a 3-5-2 formation, playing very wide and getting chalk on his boots on the left wing.

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A distinctive figure bombing on down the flank, De Ceglie continues to endear himself to the Bianconeri supporters with his lung-busting runs and deceptive speed in tracking back to cover for Juve's central defenders.

Since making his U21 debut for Italy against Luxembourg in December 2006, De Ceglie has established himself as a regular in the  Azzurri's first-team squad.

Initially, De Ceglie was employed as a left-back, but he has since blossomed into a marauding force playing further forward from midfield.

With Juventus playing three out-and-out centre backs, De Ceglie's ability to track back in wide areas with admirable stamina and awareness has proved invaluable.

His attitude has hugely impressed the coaches he has worked under, and his bullish approach over the summer left Antonio Conte in no doubt that he did not need replacing.

"At Juventus, one is always under pressure; every year you start again," De Ceglie said. "While I hope to stay here for a long time, we all know that it is difficult to be guaranteed a place here and this year will be even tougher with more competition, but we are aiming for the maximum.

"It is right that for each role in the team, there are more players and, when coupled with intelligent sporting competition, those who will play will be those who are in better shape, who deserve it more and who, at that time, can give more to the team.

"Continuity is a goal for me, to come out every year at the beginning of the season wearing this shirt and playing in my position," he added. "As I have said before, we are not prima donnas at Juve."

Some critics of De Ceglie believe that his desire and commitment leaves him vulnerable to disciplinary problems on the field, and he has had to shake off such doubts.

His first competitive start in nearly a year against Parma in 2011 was soured by a straight red card for a foul on his former Primavera team-mate Sebastian Giovinco, which resulted in a penalty.

But since being dropped and confined to the substitutes' bench for a prolonged spell, De Ceglie took his chance when offered a return and has managed to secure a regular starting berth.

De Ceglie made 21 appearances in the league last term and signed a new contract extension until 2017. It reflected the trust placed in him by the club, and demonstrated how he had managed to restore the confidence of the staff in his abilities.

After a string of distinguished performances towards the end of last season, he was offered a contract extension and signed a new five-year deal.

With a number of niggling injuries having held him back last season, De Ceglie now looks set to enjoy a very fine campaign for Juventus, both in Serie A and the Champions League.

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De Ceglie on one of his familiar barnstorming runs

Analysis from Eurosport-Yahoo! matchcast of Juventus' 3-1 victory over Genoa in Serie A at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday, September 16.

11' - De Ceglie and Caceres continue to be the most potent weapons in the Juventus attack up to this point. Pirlo trying to pull the strings.

13' - A couple of superb crosses from the excellent De Ceglie and Caceres, before Genoa drill the loose ball clear. Game really opening up here.

19' - Bovo clears the danger from the pinpoint cross by De Ceglie. Juventus trying to hit back immediately here.

28' - Pirlo slides the ball out wide to the dangerous De Ceglie, but his cross winds up safely in the arms of Frey. Easy enough take.

30' - Antonelli taking no chances as he nods the ball behind his own goal from the devilish cross by De Ceglie.

40' - Giaccherini gets an eye at goal from the edge of the area and he knocks the volley straight into the paws of Frey. Some excellent work by De Ceglie again to keep the ball in play in the build up.

56' - Asamoah takes over from De Ceglie, who has been threatening throughout. Bit of defending for Juventus here. This match spilling from end to end.

Overall, De Ceglie was a big threat going forward from midfield, and his movement and vision caused Genoa a lot of problems. Replaced just before the hour mark, he was rested with the victory already assured.

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