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His Star Is Rising: Pablo Piatti

January 18, 2011

After holding Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw thereby enabling Barcelona to increase their advantage over Los Blancos at the top of La Liga, UD Almeria have been thrust once more into the spotlight, their players profiles boosted. In the case of one particular player for the Andalusian side indeed the player who inadvertently provided their goal in the game, it only serves to highlight a player that seems destined for the top of the game. Pablo Piatti has like many diminutive Argentine attackers been subjected to comparisons with a certain Lionel Messi, an often unfair comparison that only burdens the player-in-focus with a nice slice of media pressure. However, this comparison isn’t just a media formality. Watch Piatti turn and run with the ball at his feet and you can at least see there is more than some resemblance.

The goal that gave Almeria the lead against Los Merengues serves as a more than adequate glimpse of his ability. Collecting the ball from out wide left before a bustling run to the centre, breezing past 2 Madrid defenders like they weren’t there, the expectation was for Piatti to get past one more before shooting at goal. Unfortunately he didn’t get that opportunity due to being body-checked by Sergio Ramos, but the opportunity wouldn’t be wasted as the ball would roll on for Ulloa to fire Almeria in front. It naturally doesn’t reflect his entire game but it’s useful as a representation of his playing ethos.

For Piatti it all started at Estudiantes where he enjoyed short of 2 years in the first team picture before sealing a move to Andalucia. Combined with his ever-presence in the Argentine side that retained the under-20 World Cup in 2007, Almeria bought him in the summer of 2008 for £6 million, becoming the most expensive signing in Almeria’s history. The season before his arrival, Almeria had indeed achieved a record high league position for the club (8th place) in their first season in the Primera Divison. Almeria have indeed continued to overachieve in the years Piatti has been present though they do at present find themselves propping up the table. He was relatively impressive in his first season for the Andalusian side, scoring 12 goals in 19 league games. However, the 2009-10 season didn’t live up to the heady and arguably unrealistic expectations his potential had set, managing 7 goals in 28 league games. This season however, Pablito seems to be back to his best, showing signs of his potential once more and of course with this very public display of his talents, has led to people questioning when more than if he’ll make the leap to a bigger club. If Almeria were to find the dropzone inescapable then he’d be likely to be on the market this summer, of course not cheaply (his contract release clause it’s believed stands at £38 million).

It appears to be only a matter of time before Piatti departs UD Almeria, his ability suggests a career at the top beckons. Suggestion is not confirmation but whatever happens, it’ll undoubtedly be entertaining.

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