Gama Times


Often compared to the legendary Andrea Pirlo due to his long hair and playing style, Tonali has carved his own path and showcased his unique qualities on the field.

Starting his senior career at Brescia, Tonali quickly caught the attention of football enthusiasts with his technical skills and composure on the ball. As he made his mark in the Italian football scene, Tonali’s performances led to a move to AC Milan, where he flourished under the guidance of coach Stefano Pioli.

In the 2021-22 season, Tonali played a crucial role in AC Milan’s Scudetto-winning campaign, demonstrating his ability to contribute in both the defensive and attacking phases of the game. While not a prolific goal scorer, Tonali’s vision and passing range make him a valuable asset in setting up scoring opportunities for his teammates.

It’s worth noting that Andrea Pirlo himself acknowledged the differences between him and Tonali, emphasizing that the young midfielder possesses a more well-rounded skill set. Pirlo praised Tonali’s defensive capabilities and ability to dictate play, highlighting him as the most promising midfielder in Italy at the time.

Tonali’s versatility allows him to play in various midfield roles, but he often shines when paired with a physically imposing defensive midfielder like Franck Kessie or Ismael Bennacer at AC Milan. With time and continued development, Tonali can further refine his game and become more influential in the attacking third, increasing his goal-scoring contributions.

While Tonali’s impact with the Italian national team has yet to reach the same heights as his club performances, there is no doubt that his potential and talent hold great promise for the future. Alongside fellow talented midfielders such as Nicolò Barella and Davide Frattesi, Tonali represents a bright future for Italian midfield dominance.

As Tonali continues to mature and evolve as a player, he has the potential to carve out his own unique legacy, separate from the comparisons to Pirlo. With his skills, vision, and versatility, Tonali is poised to make a lasting impact on the Italian football scene and become a key figure in the midfield for both club and country.

Sandro tonali early

Tonali’s background is rooted in his hometown of Lodi, near Milan, where he began his football journey with Lombardia Uno. His childhood dream was to play for AC Milan, the team he idolized. However, Tonali had to wait for an opportunity to wear the iconic Rossoneri jersey.

Recognizing his talent, Brescia signed Tonali to their academy. It was at Brescia that he developed both as a player and as a person. At just 17 years old, Tonali made his professional debut in the Italian second division, showcasing his potential and catching the attention of football enthusiasts.

Under the guidance of Eugenio Corini, another esteemed Italian midfielder, Tonali was given the opportunity to shine as a starter for Brescia. He excelled on the field, earning the title of the best young player in the Serie B for two consecutive years. Tonali’s performances helped Brescia secure promotion to the Serie A for the 2019-20 season.

Amid high expectations, Tonali made his Serie A debut, drawing the attention of big clubs and football fans alike. He proved himself capable of competing at the highest level, impressing with his skills and composure on the pitch. Tonali’s performances generated interest from top clubs, as they eagerly awaited his impact among the stars of Italian football.

Tonali’s journey from his small town beginnings to becoming a highly sought-after midfielder demonstrated his talent, determination, and potential for greatness. His success at Brescia paved the way for his move to AC Milan, where he continues to make strides in his career.

How AC Milan swiftly entered the race, taking advantage of Tonali’s long-standing admiration for the Rossoneri?

Sandro Tonali’s journey to AC Milan was marked by negotiations and a strong connection to the club he supported since childhood. Despite Brescia’s relegation to Serie B, Inter initially showed interest in signing Tonali. However, AC Milan swiftly entered the race, taking advantage of Tonali’s long-standing admiration for the Rossoneri.

At the time, AC Milan’s management faced uncertainty with rumors of coach Stefano Pioli and club legend Paolo Maldini potentially leaving. However, following successful on-field performances after the Covid outbreak, CEO Ivan Gazidis decided to retain both Pioli and Maldini. This decision aligned with the club’s new vision of building a team around young, talented players capable of winning trophies in the future.

Tonali perfectly fit this profile, and AC Milan pursued him. They reached an agreement with Brescia, securing Tonali’s loan for €10 million with a €15 million purchase option included, along with €10 million in potential add-ons, amounting to a potential €35 million deal. Despite high expectations, Tonali faced challenges in his first year at AC Milan. He struggled to establish himself as a key player due to the tactical importance of midfielders Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie in Pioli’s system.

Nevertheless, AC Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage that season. However, the departures of key players Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu as free agents left the fans disappointed. AC Milan renegotiated Tonali’s deal with Brescia, thanks in part to his willingness to reduce his salary by €500,000. This negotiation showcased Tonali’s dedication to the club and endeared him to the fans, especially after the departures of Donnarumma and Calhanoglu.

From that point onward, Tonali’s fortunes changed. He became a vital midfielder under Pioli’s guidance, featuring prominently as a central midfielder in the team’s 4-2-3-1 formation. AC Milan ultimately secured a historic Scudetto, battling with Inter and former teammate Calhanoglu until the final matchday. Tonali’s rapid rise made him one of the faces of AC Milan, embracing the club’s winning mentality and becoming a fan favorite.

Tonali’s deep connection to AC Milan is evident in his journey. As a child, he wrote a letter to Saint Lucy, hoping to become a professional soccer player. He mentioned his dream to play for AC Milan and asked for the club’s kit. While he didn’t receive a tangible response, Tonali never stopped pursuing his dream. His grandmother, Gina, still keeps that letter, symbolizing his unwavering determination. Now, Tonali can only support his former teammates from England as he continues to make strides for AC Milan.

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