Full name Andrea Barzagli
Date of birth 8 May 1981 (age 29)
Place of birth Fiesole, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Centre back
In the season 1998–1999 Barzagli had his first professional football appearance with semi-pros Rondinella Calcio before moving to Serie B side A.C. Pistoiese in 2000–01. The journey was short because the year later he rejoined Rondinella Calcio in Serie C2. He then signed Ascoli Calcio 1898 in season 2001–02 and helped them to Serie B promotion. He remained in Ascoli for another year without further success. His first Serie A cap was won with Chievo Verona in the 1-1 draw at Brescia on August 2003. The year later the commanding defender was signed by Serie A outfit Palermo. Barzagli was bestowed with the captains armband after Eugenio Corini controversially left the Sicilian club in the summer of 2007–08.
In 2008 Barzagli was in contract negotiations with ACF Fiorentina and was widely expected to sign. To everyone's surprise the deal fell through as Barzagli, a native Florentian, had already stated his eagerness to join. Barzagli's agent spoke to media saying: "The difference between what we were asking and what they offered was minimal – it amounted to £100,000. Andrea was willing to give up a lot of money to play for Fiorentina, but they didn’t take our requests into consideration". Instead Barzagli choose to join VfL Wolfsburg and the Bundesliga following fellow Italian and team-mate Cristian Zaccardo. It was later reported that the Italian international snubbed Fiorentina's five years £1.2 million contract over VfL Wolfsburg's 3 years £2.5 million offer. The transfer fee was reported to be at around 14 million Euro. Barzagli played all 34 league games in the 2008–09 season for Wolfsburg, without being subbed on or off. He scored his first goal for Wolfsburg in a 4–0 win over TSG Hoffenheim on 4 April 2010.
Barzagli won his first international cap on November 2004 against Finland under Italian coach Lippi. He was called up for 2006 FIFA World Cup and, while not expecting to play at all, was deployed as a substitute in the second round match against Australia and again for a full 90 minutes in the quarter-final against Ukraine due to the suspension of Marco Materazzi. Barzagli was deployed six times under the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying matches and appeared in the crucial 2-1 victory over Scotland. He was recalled to Italy's UEFA Euro 2008 squad and partnered Materazzi in the heavy 0-3 defeat against The Netherlands after Italian skipper Fabio Cannavaro on June 2 suffered an injury in training. Barzagli has since then only appeared for the Azzurri one time in the 1-2 World Cup qualifer win against Cyprus after Alessandro Gamberini fell injured after 60 seconds.