Revisiting Juventus’ 2011 Football Manager prodigies, 10 years later
They had finished seventh in the 2009-10 season as Internazionale won the championship and finished again in the same place as AC Milan won the Scudetto in 2010-11. Still, it was a thriving club under the leadership of new president Andrea Agnelli.
And for those who imagined their virtual chances of bringing the old lady back to the top of Italian football on Football Manager, there were some good young players to work with. FMScout.com picked four prodigies who went on to play for Juve – here’s how they fared in the real world a decade later.
The Romanian goalkeeper, then just 16, had agreed to join Juve in the summer of 2010 from home club Ramincu Valcea, for whom he had already made his professional debut in the country’s second division.
Remarkably, he didn’t leave Juve for good until January 2021, having made a total of zero first-team appearances.
He was loaned to eight different clubs during his decade under contract at the Turin club, the last of which was Kilmarnock, where he made 26 Scottish Premiership appearances.
Although he had no luck in Turin, when he joined Killie he told the BBC that he had “learned a lot” from watching Gianluigi Buffon up close: “First of all [you learn] how to be 100% every day in training … He is everyone’s motivation. Playing until his age is the mentality. You have the experience and if you have a solid mind you can fix anything.
Being cast as a prodigy on FM clearly had an impact on him, too. In an interview with Daily Record, he revealed: “Most of my free time I play Football Manager. I manage Kilmarnock.
“I actually just started a new season – not that I’m better at it. In the game, the club told me I had to get into the top three. I’m not far from that, so I have to hit that reality soon, it’s fun.
Now – in the real world and, we imagine, on FM – he’s back in his native Romania with Politehnica Iasi, who is currently fighting relegation from La Liga I.
At 26, he still has a few years of play ahead of him.
Of the four selected prodigies, two were goalkeepers and the second was Italian Pinsoglio.
Once again, he spent much of his career under contract with Juve but on loan. The spells at Viareggio and Pescara were followed by a seemingly permanent player-plus-cash deal with Vicenza for Fausto Rossi.
He spent two years as a Vincenza player, including one on loan from Modena, before returning to Juventus for € 700,000 and being immediately loaned to… Modena.
Over the past four seasons, he has been Juve’s third-choice goalkeeper and has managed one Serie A appearance every year.
In December 2020, he managed to get himself sent off in the derby match against Turin without ever entering, seeing red for abusing the referee as his side celebrated Leonardo Bonucci’s late winner.
Oddly, he seems to have become Portuguese goaltender / world superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s best friend.
I like the relationship Ronaldo has with third-choice goalkeeper Carlo Pinsoglio. Cristiano will always celebrate his goals with him 😂 pic.twitter.com/V7QLL1GuB9
– Marco Messina (@IFTVMarco) November 2, 2020
If you’ve had a youth career that saw you play in the academies of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, your place on a list of prodigies is pretty much guaranteed, and that’s how it turned out. passed for Iago Falque in 2010.
Having initially moved to Juve in 2008, he spent the 2010-11 campaign on loan in his native Spain with Villarreal B. The following season he joined Tottenham on a temporary contract and in January 2011 they saw fit to pay. 1 million euros to Juve. definitely bring it.
It was not a good decision. He has only made five senior appearances for Spurs and has spent time at Southampton, Almeria and Rayo Vallecano.
In 2018, while in Turin, he said: “Maybe the move to Tottenham was not a wise decision on my part. It was the only turning back in my career.
“In the end, bad experiences also help you to grow, to mature. It was the momentum in my career that made me sign and the competition was very tough.
“Now my priorities are more the sport than the financial aspect. The money comes later – after games, goals and good performances.
He eventually escaped from north London to Genoa and after a season in Rome and a few fairly successful years in Turin, he now plays for Benevento, for whom he has scored once in seven games this season. Never a superstar, but a solid career.
– Torino FC English (@ TorinoFC1906_En) May 26, 2020
Local boy Marrone has spent his entire youth career at Juve and in 2010 was seen as a potential long-term fix for their midfielder. It didn’t work out that way, instead Marrone’s career followed a similar trajectory to Pinsoglio’s.
A few under-appearances for Juve in 2010 were followed by a loan to Siena and a one-year co-ownership of Sassuolo and Juve, playing for the former.
A return to Juve saw him take on five more loan periods in five years, before being sold to Verona, who loaned him directly to Crotone. He remains at Crotone and has played 15 times in 2020-21 but couldn’t help them out of the bottom of Serie A.