Saturday Jun 24, 2017  
     
 
  16/06/2011: Tommaso Rocchi
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Tommaso Rocchi, born in Venice on 19 September 1977. During his childhood he enjoys playing football in the street of Venice, inherited a passion for football by his brothers Matteo and Roberto. Later on, he enrolled in a small team of the city, the Alvesiana.

Rocchi is a Juventus youth product and he won the Primavera title in 1994 before moving up to the first team for the 1995–96 season, in which the Bianconeri claimed the Champions League title. Yet he did not make any appearances.
 
From then on, Rocchi played in Serie C football, playing in 121 matches and scoring 36 goals for Pro Patria, Fermana, Saronno and Como. He managed to get a chance in Serie B with Treviso.
 
From Treviso, Rocchi moved to Tuscany with Empoli, also in Serie B at that time. With Empoli, Rocchi made over 100 appearances, and scored a total of 29 goals, 16 of which came in Serie A, where Rocchi had put in some decent performances during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons. He scored a winner against Inter Milan, on January 18, 2004, and a week later he scored a hattrick against his old club Juventus in a 3–3 draw. 
 
Rocchi with SS Lazio
 
All of those above performances have led Rocchi for a €4 million move to Lazio in the 2004–05 season. As an attacker, Tommaso Rocchi with 1.77 m tall is a clever striker, able to surprise opposing defenses, freeing speed on the offside, and useful to the team in any situation, both in the containment of maneuver, alternating with the fellow of first and second striker role. He is a natural right footed, but also skilled with the heading.
 
Rocchi's first goal in Lazio shirt came on 22 September 2004 against Brescia at the Rigamonti stadium in a 2–0 win. His finest individual performance of the season was a hattrick against Lecce, and Rocchi ended a successful debut season with 13 goals in 35 league appearances. He also scored twice in the UEFA Cup, his first appearance in European competition. Most significantly, Rocchi scored the third goal in a 3–1 Derby della Capitale win, the first of these clashes in which he played.
 
It was during this time that Rocchi began to develop a partnership with teammate Paolo Di Canio. Often creating assists for each other, Rocchi and Di Canio had a good relationship both on and off the field. Di Canio left Lazio in 2006, leaving Rocchi as the major star striker at the club.

Rocchi used to spent his after training, ends up with some teammates who share his passion for music. He plays the guitar and, along with Di Canio and the twins Antonio and Emanuele Filippini, form a quartet that performs in charity evenings.
 
Rocchi also had a strong partnership with Macedonian forward Goran Pandev. Often Pandev would play behind Rocchi, but they were also could manage to play up front together with a central attacking midfielder behind. Between them, they were Lazio's top goalscorers for three seasons consecutively. A positive 2005–06 season saw Rocchi score a personal best 16 league goals as Lazio finished sixth, a place which was later taken away due to the Calciopoli scandal, but Lazio were soon reinstated to the top flight.
 
Beginning the 2006–07 season with an eleven-point deduction, a relegation battle appeared on the cards for Lazio, and a slow start did nothing to help the situation. However, the team's form soon improved, and the deduction was reduced to three, making a tilt at a UEFA Champions League place an unlikely yet possible goal. Rocchi backed up his 16 goal haul yet again, as Lazio finished third and qualified for Europe's Champions League.
 
The 2007–08 season saw Rocchi make his personal debut in the UEFA Champions League, where he scored a crucial winning goal against Werder Bremen. This season he ended the campaign with 14 Serie A goals. He spent much of the year as Captain of Lazio, deputizing for the often-injured Luciano Zauri. On February 20, 2008, Rocchi renewed his contract, extending the deal by five years. This contract extension would run until 2013, and effectively ensure Rocchi would remain at the club for the remainder of his career. On March 19, 2008, Rocchi scored his fourth goal in the Derby della Capitale in a 3–2 victory against A.S. Roma.
 
From a personal perspective, 2008–09 was a poor season for Rocchi. After missing the first two months of the season due to an injury suffered while on international duty at the 2008 Olympic Game in Beijing, Rocchi never reached his usual goalscoring form, finishing with just 9 for the season; his lowest tally in six years. However, Lazio won their fifth Coppa Italia title, defeating Sampdoria in a penalty shootout. Rocchi suffered the indignity of being the only Lazio player to fail to convert his spot kick. This season was also his first as the official team Captain, after the departure of Zauri to Fiorentina.

At the end of the 2008–09 season, having made over 200 appearances in the Lazio shirt, and having scored 83 goals, Rocchi declared his target was to join an exclusive list of players to have scored 100 goals for SS. Lazio. Four players only had previously reached this mark:

- Silvio Piola,
- Giuseppe Signori,
- Bruno Giordano, and
- Giorgio Chinaglia.

Rocchi has decided to change his number 18 shirt for the number 9, which had previously been worn by all of those four, aside from Signori.

During his time with Lazio Rocchi has raised 2 trophies:
- Coppa Italia 2008–09
- Super Coppa Italiana 2009
 
Rocchi with National Team

Rocchi has represented Italy at youth level several times. In August 2006, following Italy's fourth FIFA World Cup title, new Azzurri boss Roberto Donadoni called Rocchi up to the squad as a reward for his exceptional scoring record in Serie A.
 
He made his debut against Croatia in the 2–0 loss at 29 years of age. Rocchi played two more matches for the national team on the road to Euro 2008 but did not make the squad for the final tournament.
 
He was selected as the only overage player in Pierluigi Casiraghi's Olympic team to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He scored against South Korea on August 10. Unfortunately, a fractured in the fibula forced him to abandon the tournament and return to Rome.

Rocchi's Pictures Gallery link

(Ali Alkatiri)

 
 
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