Lorenzo Insigne (Italian pronunciation: [loˈrɛntso inˈsiɲɲe]; born 4 June 1991) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a forward or attacking midfielder for Napoli and the Italy national team.
Insigne began his professional career with Napoli in 2009, making his Serie A debut in 2010, but was later sent on consecutive season loan spells to Foggia and Pescara, before returning to Napoli in 2012. Insigne is capable of playing on either flank, or through the centre, but is usually deployed as left winger. He is known in particular for his creativity, speed and technical ability, as well as his accuracy from free-kicks.
Insigne has represented the Italy national under-21 team, with which he won a runner-up medal at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He made his debut for the senior team in September 2012, and has represented Italy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and at UEFA Euro 2016.
Foggia and Pescara
A member of the Napoli Youth Academy, in 2010, Insigne was sold to Lega Pro Prima Divisione club Foggia in a co-ownership deal with Napoli. During his time with Foggia, he scored 19 goals under the tenure of Czech coach Zdeněk Zeman.
On 8 July 2011, Insigne agreed to re-join Zeman, accepting a one-year loan to Serie B club Pescara. Insigne formed a notable offensive partnership with teammate Ciro Immobile, who was the Serie B top goalscorer with 28 goals as Pescara topped Serie B that season, scoring 27 more goals than any other team in the competition. Insigne scored 18 goals in the league himself as the club's second-highest goalscorer, also providing 14 assists that season, heavily contributing to the team's success. Due to its victory in Serie B, Pescara was promoted to Serie A with Zeman's ultra-attacking style of football. At the 2012 AIC Gran Gala del Calcio, Insigne was named the "Best Player" of the previous Serie B season, along with his former Pescara teammates Immobile and Marco Verratti.
Insigne's performances at Pescara enticed parent club Napoli to bring him back to his hometown club for the 2012–13 season, where he was considered to be a long-term replacement for the recently departed Ezequiel Lavezzi. Insigne had originally made his Serie A debut with the club on 24 January 2010 under manager Walter Mazzarri in a 2–0 win over Livorno. Insigne scored his first Serie A goal with Napoli on 16 September 2012 in a 3–1 home win over Parma.
Insigne struggled to get a run of consecutive games at many points in the season, but participated in a large successful season at Napoli, who finished in second place in Serie A that season. Throughout the season, he made 43 appearances, scoring five goals and providing seven assists. The competition for places with players like Edinson Cavani, Goran Pandev, Eduardo Vargas and Omar El Kaddouri meant Insigne often started matches on the substitutes' bench.
The following season, Insigne made his UEFA Champions League debut in 2–1 home win over the previous season's finalists Borussia Dortmund, on 18 September 2013. Insigne marked his debut in the competition with a goal from a free-kick. In the final of the Coppa Italia on 3 May 2014, Insigne scored twice in the first half as his side won 3–1 against Fiorentina.
During the 2014–15 season, on 9 November 2014, Insigne injured the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee in a match against Fiorentina. He returned to the pitch on 4 April 2015 after a five-month absence, coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 away defeat to Roma. In his next league match, on 26 April, he scored a goal in a 4–2 home win over Sampdoria, also wearing the captain's armband during the match, in the absence of teammates Marek Hamšík, Christian Maggio and Gökhan Inler.
On 13 September 2015, Insigne opened the 2015–16 Serie A season by scoring in a 2–2 draw against Empoli. On 20 September, he scored again in a 5–0 win over Lazio, also setting up Allan's goal. On 26 September, Insigne made his 100th Serie A appearance with Napoli and scored his third goal of the season in a 2–1 home win over defending Serie A champions Juventus, although he was also later forced off the pitch after sustaining an injury during the match; the club, however, later reported the injury was not serious. He continued his goalscoring run in the following match, scoring twice and setting up Allan's goal in a 4–0 away win over Milan, bringing his seasonal tally to five goals in seven games. Insigne's prolific performances even led to comparisons with former Napoli legend Diego Maradona, which Insigne played down.
In April 2017, Insigne scored his third brace in four appearances for Napoli to take his tally to 14 goals for the Serie A season, surpassing his previous personal best for a single campaign.
On 14 October 2017, Insigne scored his 100th career club goal in a 1–0 away win over rivals Roma in Serie A.
A regular member of the Italy under-21 squad, Insigne made 15 appearances for the "Azzurrini", scoring seven goals. He made his debut with the under-21 side on 6 October 2011 in a European qualifying match against Liechtenstein, scoring two goals and providing two assists in a 7–2 victory.
With the under-21 team, he participated in the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship under manager Devis Mangia, playing an important role in Italy's tournament run. On 5 June 2013, he made his tournament debut against England, scoring a goal from a free-kick in Italy's 1–0 opening victory. On 9 June, in Italy's second match against hosts Israel, Insigne began the play which led to Italy's first goal of the match in the 18th minute, which was scored by Riccardo Saponara. He injured himself later during the match and was forced to come off, although Italy won the match 4–0. Insigne was able to recuperate in time for the semi-final match against the Netherlands, and he came on to set up Fabio Borini's winner which sent the Italians into the final. On 18 June, Italy was defeated 4–2 against Spain in the final, although Insigne was able to set up Italy's second goal of the match, which was scored by Borini.
Insigne was called up for the first time for the Italy senior team in September 2012 at age 21 by coach Cesare Prandelli for Italy's 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Bulgaria and Malta. He made his senior debut on 11 September 2012 in the World Cup qualifier match against Malta in Modena, coming on as a replacement for Alessandro Diamanti. On 14 August 2013, Insigne scored his first goal in a friendly against Argentina, which ended in a 2–1 loss at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Insigne was named in Cesare Prandelli's 30-man provisional squad for the 2014 World Cup and was eventually picked in the final 23-man squad. In Italy's last warm-up match, against Fluminense in Brazil ahead of their World Cup opener against England, Insigne and his teammate Ciro Immobile scored five goals, with Insigne scoring two.
On June 20, Insigne made his debut in the 2014 World Cup in Italy's second group match, against Costa Rica, replacing Antonio Candreva in the second half. However, this was Insigne's only appearance in the tournament, as Italy was eliminated in the group stage.
On 31 May 2016, Insigne was named to Antonio Conte's 23-man Italy squad for UEFA Euro 2016. He made his first appearance of the tournament on 22 June, coming off the bench in Italy's final group match, which ended in a 1–0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland, striking the post and later receiving a yellow card in injury time. In the round of 16, at the Stade de France in Paris on 27 June, he came off the bench once again to help set-up Graziano Pellè's 91st minute volley to give the Azzurri a 2–0 win over defending champions Spain. On 2 July, he made a further substitute appearance in the quarter-final fixture against Germany and scored Italy's first penalty in the resulting shoot-out, which ended in a 6–5 loss to the reigning World Cup champions.
Style of play
Nicknamed "Lorenzo Il Magnifico", Insigne is a fast, talented, skilful and diminutive right footed winger, with an eye for goal, who is usually deployed on the left in a 4–3–3 or in a 4–2–3–1 formation, which allows him to cut inside and curl shots on goal with his stronger foot. Although his preferred role is on the left flank, he is a hard-working and tactically versatile forward, capable of playing in any offensive position on either side of the pitch, or even through the centre. He has often operated in deeper, more creative positions, either in a free role in the centre as an attacking midfield playmaker behind the strikers, or as a supporting forward, due to his passing ability and vision, which enable him to link-up with midfielders, create chances, and provide assists for teammates. In addition to his ability to set-up goals, he is also capable of scoring them himself, and is an accurate set-piece taker. Insigne's resulting low centre of gravity, combined with his creativity, quick feet and technical ability, make him extremely quick and agile in possession, and give him excellent balance and control of the ball, which, along with his flair, intelligent movement, speed, and dribbling skills, allows him to beat opponents and create space for his team in attacking areas. Regarded as one of Italy's most promising prospects in his youth, due to his attributes, skill, pace and small stature, his former Napoli teammate and Macedonia captain Goran Pandev has referred to him as the "Italian Messi".
Lorenzo Insigne has three brothers, all of whom are footballers: his younger brother and Napoli teammate Roberto, as well as Marco and Antonio. Lorenzo married Genoveffa "Jenny" Darone on 31 December 2012; together they have two children: Carmine, born on 4 April 2013, and Christian, born on 13 March 2015.
- As of 18 April 2018
|Cavese (loan)||2009–10||Lega Pro Prima Divisione||10||0||0||0||–||–||10||0|
|Pescara (loan)||2011–12||Serie B||37||18||1||2||–||–||38||20|
- As of 27 March 2018
|Italy national team|
- Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.
|1.||14 August 2013||Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy||Argentina||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|2.||24 March 2016||Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy||Spain||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|3.||11 June 2017||Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy||Liechtenstein||1–0||5–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4.||27 March 2018||Wembley Stadium, London, England||England||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
- Serie B: 2011–12
- Coppa Italia: 2013–14
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2014
- Serie B Footballer of the Year: 2012
- Coppa Italia Top Goal-scorer: 2013–14