Having started his career as a right-back for Colombian outfit Independiente Medellin and at Udinese, Juan Cuadrado first came to the fore during his time at Lecce, where he underwent an important transformation that has seen his stock rise considerably ever since.
Swapping a rearguard role for a more advanced position while in Puglia, predominantly as a right wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation, Cuadrado was able to take greater advantage of his undoubted attacking qualities, scoring his first ever Serie A goals (three) during his single season with the Giallorossi.
A move to Fiorentina followed, where the Colombian built upon the previous year to quickly become a key man of Vincenzo Montella’s attack-minded side.
After a debut campaign in Tuscany that yielded an impressive five goals and seven assists, the Viola coach opted to push Cuadrado further forward, deploying him on the right side of a front three.
The move paid dividends, as the 27-year-old tripled his goal tally (15), while also turning provider on eight occasions in 2013/14.
That summer he would also star for his country during the World Cup in Brazil, registering an impressive four assists while also getting on the scoresheet himself as Colombia played an entertaining, attack-minded game to reach the tournament’s quarter-final stage.