Jacksonville Sports Day

MLS: Former A.C. Milan Left Back Luca Antonelli Joins Miami FC

MIAMI – The Miami FC announced the signing of left back Luca Antonelli, pending league and federation approval.

Antonelli brings a wealth of experience to the club having played for the Italian national team, while also featuring in over 200 Serie A matches and several Europa League fixtures.

“Luca’s quality speaks for itself,” said Miami FC head coach and technical director Paul Dalglish. “The former Italian international and A.C. Milan defender has plenty of miles left in his tank and we’re excited to have him here for this upcoming season. We’ve got plenty of young players on our team and bringing in someone with his experience will help us develop them both on and off the field.”

Born in Monza, Italy, Antonelli began his career at Italian giant A.C. Milan, working his way up the youth ranks until reaching the first team. Despite not making an appearance in his first season, Antonelli was on the bench in two 2006/07 UEFA Champions League matches, which A.C. Milan would go on to defeat Liverpool 2-1 in the final. A year later he would be loaned out to Serie B club Bari, where he would make 20 appearances in his six months at the club.

His impressive performances earned him another loan spell, this time with Serie A’s Parma. After featuring in eight matches, Parma acquired Antonelli permanently in June 2008 to help the club’s fight for promotion after being relegated after the 2007/08 campaign.

His 2008/09 season in Serie B saw him feature in 16 total matches, helping Parma return to Serie A. The club went on to secure Antonelli’s remaining rights from A.C. Milan towards the end of the 2009 season.

The left back would remain at Parma until the end of 2010, having played a total of 61 matches, scoring one goal and adding two assists to his name. Towards the end of his time at Parma, Antonelli caught the eye of the Italian national team, making his senior debut in October 2010 in a UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifiers against Faroe Islands.

His success at Parma earned him a transfer to Serie A’s Genoa, where in a short time he earned the starting spot over Domenico Criscito. Antonelli, 33, spent nearly five seasons at Genoa, making 109 appearances for the club while netting eight goals and recording ten assists.

In February 2015, Antonelli would rejoin his childhood club A.C. Milan and a year later would play a part in the club’s 2016 Supercoppa Italiana victory over Juventus.

In four seasons at one of Italy’s most prominent clubs, the defender played in 69 matches, where he scored five goals and had five assists. Following the 2017/18 campaign, he departed Milan to join FC Empoli, where he would feature until the end of the 2020 season.

In total, Antonelli would make 13 appearances for the Italian national team from 2010 to 2016, while also playing in 215 Serie A and 42 Serie B matches. He now joins Miami FC ahead of the club’s second USL Championship season, with the goal of using his experience to help the club continue its winning tradition.

With the signing of Antonelli, the club’s roster is as follows:
Goalkeeper (2): Brian Sylvestre, Connor Sparrow
Defenders (7): Paco Craig, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Sean McFarlane, János Löbe, Othello Bah, Callum Chapman-Page, Luca Antonelli
Midfielders (5): Lance Rozeboom, Devon “Speedy” Williams, Junior Palacios, Bolu Akinyode, Jahshaun Anglin
Forwards (7): Christiano François, Billy Forbes, Pierre da Silva, Richard Ballard, Ariel Martinez, Adonijah Reid, Lamar Walker

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