Pafundi started in selection at only 16 years old and after 22 minutes in Serie A

Simone Pafundi became Italy’s third youngest player after coming on Wednesday against Albania (3-1). The 16-year-old attacking midfielder has almost never played in Serie A before obtaining his first cap in the jersey of the Nazionale.

Leonardo Bonucci had to take a big hit on Wednesday during Italy’s friendly match won against Albania (3-1). For a few moments, a few seconds before being replaced himself, the 35-year-old defender rubbed shoulders with Simone Pafundi in the Nazionale jersey.

If the innkeeper of Juventus remains the captain of the national team, he attended the beginnings of the phenomenon of Udinese. At only 16 years, eight months and two days, the attacking midfielder celebrated his first cap. It’s simple, no Italian has started younger in selection for 111 years and Rodolfo Gavinelli (in 1911) and Renzo De Vecchi (in 1910). Presented as a technically fine player and endowed with a good vision of the game by the transalpine media, the left-hander already seems to have everything to become the new darling of the tifosi.

22 minutes in Serie A

European champions but unable to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Italian team has begun its transformation with a clear rejuvenation of its workforce. Maintained despite his failure in the race for the World Cup, Roberto Mancini seems to want to make a good place for young people in his workforce. After the explosive Wilfried Gnonto, who became the youngest scorer in the history of the Nazionale at 18 years and 222 days last June, it’s time for Simone Pafundi.

But if the attacker today in Leeds had never played in Serie A before going into exile in Switzerland and being selected, the attacking midfielder trained for Udinese played in the Italian first division… Finally, he made a 22-minute appearance there in May 2022 during a card from his club against Salernitana, becoming the first of the 2006 generation to play in the top flight. Since then, Simone Pafundi has been content with six appearances in the group with the first team in 2022-2023, without ever leaving the bench.

Great youth stats

Despite his inexperience at the top level, the attacking midfielder has earned a good reputation among young people. In 36 games played with Udinese’s Primavera over the past three seasons, Simon Pafundi has scored 9 goals and provided 15 assists. Ditto with the Italian U17s where his great activity and his vision have worked wonders with 4 achievements and 2 offerings in just 5 games. Enough to convince Roberto Mancini to give him a nice gift this week with the A’s.

Born on March 14, 2006, Simone Pafundi was only three months and 26 days old when Italy won their last World Cup on July 9, 2006 against France. Finally, Leonardo Bonucci is perhaps not the only one to have taken a blow of old by seeing the start of the new prodigy of Italian football.

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