After signing for Juventus in July 2014, Stefano Sturaro returned to Turin six months later following a fruitful loan spell with former club Genoa. The versatile player has since shone in the Bianconeri midfield, playing his part in their charge towards a domestic double and Champions League final.
Born in Sanremo on 9 March 1993, he spent the majority of his early career with local team Sanremese before joining Genoa’s youth academy in 2008.
Having proved a key member of the Primavera’s Super Cup winning side in 2010, Sturaro plied his trade with Serie B outfit Modena during the 2012/13 campaign.
Having returned to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in the summer of 2013, the 22-year-old scored his first goal in Italy’s top flight against Catania, ending an impressive debut campaign in Serie A with two assists in 16 appearances.
His performances quickly caught the attentions of Juventus, who signed the Liguria-born midfielder on a five-year contract, immediately loaning him back to Genoa to further his education for the first half of the 2014/15 season.
On the international scene, he progressed through the Italy Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 squads before being called up by Azzurri coach Antonio Conte for Italy's 1-0 friendly victory over Albania in Genoa last November where he remained an unused substitute.
Normally deployed as an inside midfielder, Sturaro cuts a powerful, imposing figure in the middle of the park, blessed with good feet and is adept at both defending and attacking.
Undoubtedly a talent of the future for both club and country, Sturaro settled in quickly to life in Turin and starred in the Bianconeri’s semi-final win over Real Madrid en route to reaching a first Champions League final in 12 years.
He capped off the season with his first goal in the black and white, a perfectly timed strike in Juventus’ 3-1 win over Napoli, which was also the final home game of 2014/15, sparking Scudetto celebrations moments before the official award ceremony.