Giampaolo Pazzini To Use Inter Milan Spotlight To Launch to Next Level

Peter LomuscioCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2011

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 30:  Giampaolo Pazzini of Internazionale celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal (2:2) during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 30, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Giampaolo Pazzini didn’t fail to disappoint in his club debut with Inter Milan on Sunday. As a matter of fact, his surprise appearance after halftime couldn’t have gone any better.

Pazzini was on the bench for the match against Palermo but wasn’t expected to make an appearance, but after trailing 2-0 at halftime manager Leonardo decided it was time to unleash his newly acquired weapon and even he couldn’t have expected what was to come from his new No. 7 front man.

Pazzini wasted no time to stamp his impact on the match, as in the 56th minute (his 11th minute on the pitch); he was able to neatly trap a chipped ball into the area while shielding off his defender and turning a sharp shot through his defender and across the goalmouth to beat the Palermo keeper and open up his Inter account while cutting the lead to 2-1.

It got even better for Pazzini in the 73rd minute, when his darting run off of a set piece from Maicon was capped off by a firm an accurate leaping header beating the keeper short side to even the match up 2-2 and send the crowd and his squad into a surge of excitement.

Just a couple of minutes later Pazzini was at it again when he got in behind the defense and his threat alone led to a defensive panic and him being tugged down in the area.

This defensive mishap awarded Inter a penalty that teammate Eto’o converted and assured Inter the 3-2 victory in a brilliant club debut that Giampaolo Pazzini surely will never forget, as he hopes to use it as a momentum swing into his future with the Nerazzurri and La Nazionale.

Pazzini generally introduced himself to the football world in an Under-21 exhibition match between Italia and England back in March of 2007, which was also the first match played at the new Wembley Stadium. Despite the match ending in a 3-3 draw, Pazzini established himself in impressive fashion, netting a hat trick and earning the official global recognition of a top Italian prospect.

Less than four years prior to this breakout performance Pazzini officially began his professional career at Atalanta at the ripe age of 19.

After spending less than two complete seasons there he moved onto a bigger stage, when Fiorentina purchased him in the winter transfer period of 2005.

Pazzini continued to progress as a striker in his years with the Viola (2005 to 2009), but failed to achieve his fair shake of playing time under manager Cesare Prandelli.  

So in January 2009, Pazzini made another winter transfer move. This time it was to Sampdoria, where he went on to fit perfectly in an attacking duo with Antonio Cassano. In Pazzini’s 75 appearances with the club he scored an impressive 36 goals, and in his one complete season with I Blucerchiati he was a major part of their fourth-place Serie A finish.

His Sampdoria career also led to his international debut with the Italian national team, where he has now upped his total to 14 caps and 1 goal. Pazzini was also included on the 2010 World Cup squad.

But the biggest move that surely has come in Pazzini’s career was his most recent move, where Internazionale purchased the Italian. This move can be the key opportunity for Pazzini to take his career to the next level, as not only a top Serie A scorer, but a world-class international striker.

Giampaolo Pazzini has long awaited this opportunity to play on an elite level side like Inter and he will now have the spotlight on him, as he will constantly be surrounded by world-class teammates and in top-level competitions like the UEFA Champions League. This is just the stage that he has long awaited and where he can put his talent to full display.

The excitement of his participation in the UEFA Champions League will have to wait until next season though, as the player is cup-tied due to his participation with Sampdoria in the UEFA competition earlier in the season. But if showings like Sunday’s continue it is all but guaranteed that Pazzini will find a consistent place in the lineup for Italia’s Euro 2012 qualifiers throughout the calendar year.

This move will all but certainly lead to an immense rise is respect and popularity for the 26 year old striker and land him with the hope and responsibility of providing the Italian National Team with the bulk of their goals for the next two major International tournaments in Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

And after viewing the damage he did in his debut with Inter, it unquestionably looks as if Pazzini is up for the challenge.