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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Alessandro Nesta
FACTFILE
Italy and AC Milan defender Alessandro Nesta
Born: 19/03/76
Club: AC Milan
Position: Defender
Debut: 05/10/1996 v Moldova
Alessandro Nesta is one of world's best central defenders and has been an Italy team regular since Euro 96.

A boyhood Lazio fan, he made his debut for the Roman club aged just 17 and was handed the captain's armband in 1997.

Nesta's commanding performances for Lazio saw him earn a starting spot at France '98 but injury ended his tournament prematurely.

Back to his best at Euro 2000, he played a starring role as Italy narrowly lost to France in the final.

Nesta settled quickly after joining AC Milan in 2002, winning the Champions League and Coppa Italia in his first season and the Serie A title this year.

Strong, quick and a superb reader of the game, he will partner Inter's Fabio Cannavaro at the back for Italy.


Did you know? Nesta limped off injured against Austria at France '98 after just four minutes - the fastest-ever World Cup substitution.




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