How did the violin stop playing for the wonder boy from Biella?
However, three years ago a star shone out above all the highly rated youngsters, and this boy from Biella's name was Alberto Gilardino! The rising star of Parma, at the tender age of 22 couldn't stop scoring and bagged 23 goals in two consecutive seasons. He was a fans favourite, saving Parma from relegation as he scored the goal to keep them in Serie A for at least another season.
His humble personality and his willingness to never give up saw him join the Mighty Milan, for a staggering 17 million euros. He was brought in to replace Hernan Crespo, and he inherited the number 11 shirt. Many fans were excited about this transfer as Milan managed to net the brightest star out there, and Milan fans around where hoping to see that famous violin goal celebration from him.
Gila had a good first season with the rossoneri as he managed to get in 17 goals, in Serie A. Not bad when the attack is lead by Andriy Shevchenko. He remained calm and never let his big money move inhibit his abilities to score.
But this season has been a struggle for the ex-Parma man, and few have managed to see why he has struggled so far. It couldn't have been because he has become "big headed" all of a sudden. No, Gila is a quiet man, who doesn't argue and is very level headed. Then what could it have been?
For Gila, he has always had a slow start to seasons, but this season was one that was particularly slow seeing him score his first goal in the ninth game of the season. Extra added pressure could have been a actor as the transfer window saw Milan loose Andriy Shevchenko (their second highest goal scorer in history), adding more pressure on Gila to be the best, as Milan weren't able to make efficient transfers due to the calciopoli verdicts.
Fatigue played a roll too, as Gilardino was part of Italy's World Cup winning squad. And qualification for Champions League saw all the World Cup winners back from only a weeks holiday, to train and start playing games.
Injury also struck Alberto as he suffered a head injury against one of his former teammates, Paci. As the two clashed heads, leaving Gila a nasty cut on his head and an inhospitable return to his old ground where he was treasured by most. He later suffered a horrible ankle injury as Milan faced Lazio. Behrami pulling out a vicious tackle, that could have caused him more damage than just a few games out on the sidelines.
Gila was also brought into a gay photo scandal that rocked his confidence, and rumours flying of an alleged break up between him and Alice were floating about to. Gila hit an all time low, his confidence was down and rumours of a transfer were flying about.
Yet, he still remained loyal to the famous shirt of Milan, and never once said anything bad about it. He wanted to stay and answer his critics. He did that in fine style, by rising Milan out of their slump in December and he hasn't stopped. He has bagged 12 goals this season in Serie A, and 15 in all competitions.
His dedication and hard work hasn't fully been rewarded yet, as people still criticise. But the factors have to be considered. Yes, Gila's music has stopped playing and it has been a while since we have seen that violin being played in full tune. BUT, never count out Gila. He didn't become a World Cup winner over night, and he didn't join the best club in the world for no reason. There is talent in the boy from Biella, and just give him a bit of faith he will hand you goals, and music!
He isn't quite finished yet, and when times are tough for the team you can always count on Gila to be there to save the game. GRANDE GILA!!
Us fans sing our song to you: "ALBERTO GILARDINO, SOUNACI IL VIOLINO!"