Dani Osvaldo

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Pablo Dani Osvaldo is an Argentinian/Italian striker who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 12th January 1986. Osvaldo played for Lanus' junior team from the age of 9, before moving to Banfield four years later. In 2000 he joined Huracan, where he would eventually break through as a professional.

Osvaldo made his Huracan debut in 2005. The centre forward made an instant impression, and stood out as one of the most outstanding prospects in Argentina. He scored 11 in 33 in his first full season, attracting the attention of a number of European clubs. Osvaldo was picked up by Atalanta in 2006, where he played three games before being shipped off to Lecce as part of a co-ownership agreement. He established himself as a first team regular in Serie B during 2006/07, scoring 8 from 31.

Atalanta regained full control of Osvaldo's contract, before selling him to Roma for €4,600,000 in 2007. That same year, the former Huracan man made his debut for Italy at U21 level. Osvaldo qualified for Italian citizenship through his great-grandfather, who had emigrated to Argentina in the 19th century. He pulled on Azzurri colours for the first time on 16th November in a 5-0 win over Azerbaijan. Osvaldo impressed on the pitch during his first campaign in Florence, but did miss a big chunk of matches through injury and suspension. He was sent-off after scoring a last minute winner over Juventus on 2nd March 2008. Osvaldo removed his shirt and performed a machine gun style celebration in tribute to former Fiorentina great Gabriel Batistuta. On 18th May 2008 he sealed Champions League football for Viola by scoring the only goal of the game against Torino. Osvaldo followed that up by a winner in Italy U21 Toulan Tournament.

Osvaldo represented Fiorentina in the Champions League in 2008/09, but the goals dried up. The striker was sent off in a 2-1 home defeat to Lecce on 11th January 2009, and was subsequently shipped off to Bologna in a €2,000,000 loan deal. He took a while to settle in, before scoring his opening goal for the club against former outfit Fiorentina at the start of the 2009/10 season. By that time Osvaldo had made his move to Bologna a permanent one. He scored two further goals against Sampdoria and Siena, but was soon agitating for a move away.

Mauricio Pochettino's Espanyol picked up Osvaldo on loan in January 2010. The player settled in Barcelona very quickly, entering into his best career form up until that point. He scored in his home debut against Mallorca on January 24th 2010. Osvaldo netted further strikes against Xerex, Sevilla, Getafe, Atletico Madrid and Osasuna, helping Espanyol to a respectable 11th place finish for 2009/10. The following campaign saw the Italian international enjoy another impressive haul. Osvaldo scored 13 from 24 games as Espanyol finished 8th.

Osvaldo signed for Roma in a €15,000,000 plus deal in August 2011. Osvaldo's questionable temperament made for a combustible two year spell at a notoriously unstable club. After scoring in consecutive games against Siena, Parma and Atalanta, Osvaldo was called up to the Italy squad for the first time. He made his full international debut on 11th October 2011, coming on as a second-half substitute for Antonio Cassano in a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland. He followed that up with a goal in a 2-1 derby day defeat to Lazio. Osvaldo had an incredible overhead kick incorrectly disallowed in a game against Lecce on November 20th.

Osvaldo made his first start for Italy in a 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on 15th November 2011. He followed that up with strikes in wins at Napoli and former club Bologna. Roma saw the best and worst of Osvaldo at the start of 2012. He was sent off against Atalanta in February and Fiorentina in April, but did net four times in between. Despite Osvaldo's good form Roma failed to qualify for Europe in 2011/12. The striker also missed out on a call-up for Euro 2012.

Osvaldo was never too far out of trouble during 2012/13, but many of his on-pitch displays were still sensational. He scored in a thrilling 3-1 win at Inter on 2nd September 2012, but was then sent off late in the game. Osvaldo netted international goals against Bulgaria and Armenia, before being dismissed in a World Cup Qualifier against Denmark. He bounced back with a brace against Genoa on 21st October. Osvaldo scored in wins over Palermo, Torino, Fiorentina and Milan. Osvaldo ended the season strongly with a hatrick in a 4-0 win over Siena on 28th April 2013.

Roma were keen to offload Osvaldo during the summer of 2013. The club had apparently grown tired of the striker's behaviour. He punched teammate Eric Lamela when he didn't receive a pass in a game against Udinese. Southampton pursued the player for weeks. According to some reports, Osvaldo was initially reluctant to move to St Marys. A club record fee was eventually agreed, however, with Osvaldo putting pen to paper on 18th August 2013.

Osvaldo gave Saints fans a glimpse of what was to come when he was nearly sent off just minutes into his debut against Sunderland. He looked off the pace in his second outing at Norwich, but showed signs of improvement against West Ham and Liverpool in September. He netted his first Saints goal on 28th September in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, and was lively against Swansea before limping off with an injury. Osvaldo looked out of sorts in the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, and then missed the next few matches through injury. He completed a decent cameo against Hull on November 9th, but was less impressive as a second half substitute at Arsenal a fortnight later. Osvaldo was passable at Chelsea on December 1st, but looked sharp against Villa three days later. He scored in that game, and did so once again against Manchester City on December 7th. The City goal will go down as one of the greatest ever at St Marys. Osvaldo picked up the ball just outside the penalty area slightly towards the left, surrounded by City players. He twisted Vincent Kompany to such an extent that the Belgian fell over. He then made space for himself against Pablo Zabaleta, before curling the ball over the fingertips of Costel Pantilimon and into the top corner of the net.

Osvaldo looked ordinary before being hauled off at half-time at Newcastle on December 14th 2013. He was involved in a touchline brawl towards the end of the game, which resulted in three match ban. Prior to his suspension, Osvaldo missed December matches with a supposed illness. He was set to return to first team selection, before being hit with another suspension following a training ground incident with Jose Fonte. The Portuguese was left with a black eye after clashing with Osvaldo at Staplewood. The club made the decision to make the incident public, and quickly offloaded the Italian international to Juventus.

Osvaldo signed for Juventus on 31st January 2014 in an initial loan deal. The Old Lady also agreed an option to purchase the player permanently for a future fee of €19,000,000. Osvaldo made an immediate impact at the club, hitting the post with his first touch after coming on as a sub in a 2-2 draw with Verona on February 9th. He opened his account for Juventus in a 2-0 Europa League win over Trabzonspor on February 20th, and also scored in the return leg a week later.