Thursday, August 18, 2011

Christian Abbiati

Christian Abbiati
Christian Abbiati (born 8 July 1977 in Abbiategrasso, Milan) is an Italian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Milan.Having begun his footballing career at the age of 13, for Trezzano and Assago, he moved to Corsico and in 1996 secured a move to Monza. He transferred to A.C. Milan in summer 1998. His debut in Serie A came on January 17, 1999 as a 92nd-minute substitute for Sebastiano Rossi. He then became Milan's first choice goalkeeper, for four years, until he lost his starting spot to backup Dida early in the 2002–2003 season after picking up an injury during a Champions League qualifying match in August 2002. Dida's top form effectively ground Abbiati's playing time to a halt.
On 25 August 2004, a brief controversy surfaced when an editorial criticizing Dida and Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti appeared on Abbiati's official website, stating that Dida had made mistakes in a friendly against U.C. Sampdoria and that Ancelotti was blocking a move that would have sent Abbiati to Palermo. Abbiati denied that he'd written the piece and said that it had been posted by his webmaster. "I never speak to the person who looks after my site. I would never judge one of my teammates." Though his webmaster claimed responsibility for the article, speculation nonetheless arose that it had been actually penned by Abbiati due to his frustration at warming the bench.
Abbiati literally played all of thirty seconds in Milan's 2004–05 Champions League campaign, when he came on as a substitute in the 74th minute after Dida had been struck by a flare thrown from the crowd during the quarterfinal second leg against Internazionale, which was ultimately suspended less than a minute later. His last match in a Milan uniform came on May 20, 2005 in a 3–3 home draw with Palermo, a match that saw the starters rested for the upcoming Champions League Final, which Milan lost to Liverpool after chucking away a 3–0 half time lead.
Abbiati announced his desire to move to another club in order to contend for the #1 spot and was therefore loaned to Genoa for the 2005–06 season in July 2005, but he immediately returned to Milan after Genoa were relegated to Serie C1 due to a match-fixing scandal. He was soon on the move again, as he was shipped to Juventus as a temporary replacement for incumbent Gianluigi Buffon, who had suffered a dislocated shoulder during the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy match against Milan in August 2005. With long-awaited regular playing time at his disposal, he flourished with the Bianconeri, but when Buffon returned to the starting lineup six months later, Abbiati's services were no longer needed, and he left at the end of the season for another Turin squad when Milan loaned him to Torino F.C. in July 2006.
Despite expressing his desire to stay for another season, he and Torino ultimately parted ways due to a salary dispute. He was once again loaned out by Milan for the third time in three seasons, this time to Spanish club Atlético Madrid until June 2008.He began the season on the bench until an injury to incumbent Leo Franco put him in the starting lineup. On December 29, he expressed interest in staying with Atlético beyond the '07–08 season. "My adaptation has gone better than I expected. I am happy at this club because they have helped me so much. I like playing in Spain and I think I will learn a lot during the time that I have left here.
Abbiati returned to Italy after being called back by Milan for the 2008–09 season and took over as first choice from Zeljko Kalac after a solid preseason. However, on March 15, 2009, his season was cut short following a severe knee injury in the first half of Milan's 5–1 league win over A.C. Siena, after he suffered ligament damage to his right knee from a collision with teammate Giuseppe Favalli. He was ruled out of action for six months following rehabilitation and knee surgery. In 28 appearances, he kept eleven clean sheets and conceded 27 goals. On November 8, nearly eight months after the injury, Abbiati was called up as Milan's third-choice behind Dida and new acquisition Flavio Roma for Milan's 2–1 road win over S.S. Lazio.
In 2010-11, Abbiati returned as the starting goalkeeper for Milan after Dida's departure. He added 2 more year to his contract in July.He made some crucial saves in the first half of the season and it was his performances that helped Milan hold top spot by January 2011. On 7 May 2011, after a series of good performances in crucial matches in the second half of the season, Milan clinched their first Serie A trophy in 7 years.

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