Diego Milito is one of the most underrated players in football history. He was always in the shadows of the big commercial players. He was so good on many various occasions and situations that his great work inevitably won't be unnoticed.
Diego Milito is one of the best Argentinian footballers of his generation. You may know him for his legacy inRacing Club
where he both started and ended his professional career as a player. He is arguably one of the bestReal Zaragoza
players ever. He and his brother Gabriel made Zaragoza a trouble maker for Spanish giants and they even promoted him to captain role. Unlike his younger brother Diego had his story in Italy and that turned out great for him.
He also played forGenoa
. Milito played for Genoa in two spells before and after Zaragoza. Inter was the peak of the Argentinian striker's career. With Nerazzurri, they captured everyone's eyes and had honorable times. After his return to Racing and then retirement, Milito became the club's sport director for a while. His son, Leandro is now the banner knight of Milito family. El Príncipe has played only for four football clubs and has 25 national team caps, but in such a brief story he had much to tell.
Argentina has introduced countless great footballers in many generations. Most of them are strikers. They always have best forwards and time to time legends like Maradona andMessi
. Milito's blossom was right in the middle ofRonaldo
and Messi dominating the football. For Racing and Inter fans he is more than a hero. Alongside Samuel Eto'o they were once the best attacking duo in the world.
Some football stars have special talents like dribbling, pace, or body strength. Milito in first sight has nothing special but give him half of a scoring opportunity and see how he nets the ball. So lets find out more about
Diego Milito biography
Milito is one of the best examples of best positioning and keen eyes for goal. He'd avoid any unnecessary movement and play with a high efficiency. He could score goals with both feet and also using header shots. His calm personality goes reverse; when he faced the opponent's goalkeeper, he would turn to a goal eating monster.
Full name: Diego Alberto Milito
Nicknames: “El Príncipe [The Prince]"
Profession: Former Professional Football Player
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight: 86 kg
Eye Color: Light Blue
Hair Color: Dark Black
Playing Position: Centre Forward
Jersey Number: 22
Professional Debut: the 1999-2000 season
Date of birth: 12 June 1979 (1979-06-12)
Place of birth: Bernal, Argentina
Wife: Ana Sofia Milito (M. 2007)
Father: Jorge Milito
Mother: Mirta Milito
Siblings: Gabriel Milito
Children: Leandro Milito, Augustina Milito, Morena Milito
Diego Milito date of birth
is on June 12, 1979. Diego first saw the beauty of the world in Bernal, Argantina. In 1980, his younger brother, Gabriel, was born and at the moment nobody knew they were going to be big professional rivals.
Diego Milito childhood
went by and he and his brother grew up as two football lovers. The first brother to join a professional football club was Gabriel. In 1997, He joined one of the big five clubs of Argentina,Independiente
. Diego started his career two years later by joining another one of the big five, Racing Club. Racing and Independiente are arch rivals and they have a classic derby called the Avellaneda derby.
Independiente and Racing Club are the third and fourth most popular clubs in Argentina respectively, afterBoca Juniors
. They are also the third and fourth most successful Argentine teams. Gabriel played as a defender, while Diego had the forward role on the pitch. Pretty soon at the age of 20 Diego got himself a nickname “El Príncipe" because of his resemblance to Uruguayan legend Enzo Francescoli. Family rivalry was on and they both were promising talents. Gabriel was promoted to captain when he was only 22 years old. Diego scored his first goal in his first season and he capped eleven times.
After that he became a crucial player for Racing. In 2001–02, Racing won the Primera Division title and the year after that Independiente won the Argentinian league. The Argentinian league was divided into two groups called Apertura and Clausura, therefore every season they had two champions. Both Independiente and Racing Club compete in the Apertura league. Gabriel moved to Spain right after the championship and joined Real Zaragoza.
His lethal goalscoring abilities triggered in the fourth season that he managed to score 14 goals in Primera Division. After Gabriel's departure, Diego remained in Racing for half of a season and after 18 matches and scoring eight goals in them it was time for Diego to fly to Europe.
Gabriel moved to Spain to play for recently promoted Real Zaragoza, while Diego picked another destination. Diego went to Italy and joined Genoa in ItalianSerie B
Genoa was struggling in the middle of the table in Diego's first season. In the following season despite Diego's notable performances, Genoa relegated toSerie C
. Milito scored 21 goals for Genoa and only won goal behind the league's top scorer. At the end of the season, Milito was forced to leave Genoa and eventually he joined his brother in Zaragoza. Gabriel had already become a key player for the Spanish team and even helped them reach the qualification for the UEFA Cup first round.
Diego became a crucial player from the beginning in Zaragoza and scored 15 goals in his first La Liga season. The day he owned the hearts of Zaragoza fans was inCopa del Rey
semi finals against mightyReal Madrid
. Diego completed his hat trick after only 34 minutes and scored another one in the second half. Genoa gained a precious home ground with a considerable result of 6–1. The victory led them to the final but they lost the title toEspanyol
. His 15 goals made him the fourth goal scorer of the league afterBarcelona
's Samuel Eto'o,Valencia
's David Villa, and Ronaldinho from Barcelona again.
The next season he scored unbelievable 23, goals only two goals behind La Liga top scorer, Ruud van Nistelrooy, and three goals behind Francesco Totti, the European Golden Boot winner. Once again Zaragoza qualified for the UEFA Cup first round and finished 6th in the La Liga table aboveAtletico Madrid
. At the end of the season Gabriel joined Barcelona leaving captain armband behind for his brother.
Diego stayed another season in Zaragoza and despite his regular scoring rate they were relegated at the end and once again Diego was forced to leave. He returned to Italy to fulfill his unfinished business. Despite having many offers from various clubs, he decided to return to Genoa but this time inSerie A
. When Gabriel joined Barcelona, they gave him the number three that Thiago Motta used to wear before moving to Genoa. So, Motta and Diego Milito became teammates in Genoa under the prestigious manager Gian Piero Gasperini. Together they made one of the best seasons of Genoa in recent Serie A history.
Milito had his Serie A debut againstMilan
and he scored a goal and provided an assist and beat Rossoneri for a great start. They finished 5th on the table above both Roman teams,Roma
. This was not possible without Diego Milito's incredible performances that he scored 24 and only one goal behindZlatan Ibrahimovic
from the champions Inter Milan.
In one of the most surprising transfer windows of all time
Diego Milito life story
was about to change. Jose Mourinho, the Inter coach, decided to let his best striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic go. In one of the most expensive transfers of all time, Zlatan moved to Barcelona and Eto'o joined Inter in return. Eto'o was not a classic number nine and Inter still needed a center forward. Zlatan's replacement was Diego Milito. Milito and Thiago Motta both moved from Genoa to Inter after that wonderful season they had.
Inter had already won four consecutive Serie A and was looking for the fifth. Milito found his place in the line up so quick. During the preseason matches he once again met his favorite victim AC Milan and scored two goals in that match. Milan and Milito face pretty soon in the second week of Serie A fixtures and Inter won the match 4–0. Milito scored a penalty and provided two assists that helped Nerazzurri fans to completely forget about Zlatan. He kept his scoring streak for three upcoming fixtures againstParma
. Milito scored seven goals in his first nine matches for Inter and many match winning goals afterwards.
Inter's fireworks in the UEFA Champions League started in Ukraine where Inter facedDynamo Kyiv
. Milito scored a late equalizer that followed by three-point goal from Sneijder in a few minutes before the match ended. While Inter was crushing opponents in Italy they reached the knockout phase of the Champions League against English championsChelsea
. They beat Chelsea in both legs and Milito scored a precious goal in the first leg. After crossing out Chelsea, they faced Russian championsCSKA Moscow
in the quarter finals. The single goal of the first leg scored by Milito and in the second Eto'o netted the only goal to reach the semi finals.
Semi finals was the turn for the good old fashioned rivalry with his brother. Inter had to beat the European defending champion to get to the final. Barcelona with Guardiola and of course Messi and Zlatan seemed to be invincible. In one of the most memorable football matches Inter beat Barcelona in San Siro with the magic of Diego Milito who scored a goal and assisted for two goals leading to a 3–1 victory. Gabriel watched his brother beating one of the most powerful teams in football history from the bench.
In the second leg they both were in the lineup but one goal fromPique
was not enough to prevent Inter from going to the European final. At the final month of the season Inter was competing for three titles:Coppa Italia
, Serie A, and Champions League. In the first two their rival was Roma. Roma was following Inter closely with only two points behind on the table. This competition continued to be the last fixture of the season.
Before Serie A ending week, it was Coppa Italia final against Roma. In the 39th of the final Milito scored a wonderful goal that made Inter champion of Coppa Italia. After only a few days Inter was facing Siena and Milito scored the only goal of the game that worthed Serie A title. Two goals in less than two weeks and Inter won domestic double with them. It was already a dream season for Milito but it was not the end.
For a perfect closure six days later in the European final againstBayern Munich
, Milito scored two goals and that was a 2–0 victory for the Italian. They become the first and only Italian club to win a Treble. All the effort and magic by Milito was suspiciously not enough to be the best player of the year. Not only didn't he receive the Ballon d'Or, but he was not even nominated for the award. But it was such a shame that he was not even among the 23 nominees. So UEFA footballer of the year and man of the match of the UCL final was missing and commercial players get the award.
Jose Mourinho left Inter and took the Real Madrid manager job. At the point nobody thought that Inter's decline had started. In the following season Inter won Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia but Milito only scored five goals in Serie A and constantly was struggling with injuries. In 2012–13 season Milito came on track again and scored 24 goals for Nerazzurri including four goals against Milan in two Derby della Madonnina fixtures.
In the first match he scored the only goal of the match and he delivered a hat trick in the second. It was also the first hat-trick scored in a Milan derby in about fifty years. He stayed two more seasons in Inter but he missed many fixtures due to his severe injury. Milito netted 62 goals in 128 Serie A matches for Inter. He won five prestigious titles with Inter and many individual awards as a tremendous player.
In 2014, Milito came back to the place his epic story started: Racing Club. In the opening match of the season, he scored a goal showing that he still has magic left in his pocket. The Argentinian league was in the mid-season window when Milito went there. He scored six goals including crucial goals against Independiente and Boca Juniors. The season ended with Racing championship in Primera Division. They waited for Milito to come back for the championship.
Milito played for another season for Racing and in the third season he hung his shoes. In his last match he scored the opening goal. After retirement from playing Milito was appointed as the sports manager of the club Racing. Under his management Racing once again won the Argentinian league and super cup. His replacement in the squad wasLautaro Martinez
, who was a very young talent. He made a transfer for him to join Inter where he became one of the best young players in the world. In 2020 Milito left the position of the sporting manager after four years.
Milito had only 25 national team appearances. Argentina have always had a handful of top strikers but even when Milito was the best striker in the world he was missing the quad. So that was a loss for the national team. In 2010 World Cup when Maradona was the manager he was inevitably called up for the national squad but didn't get enough chances to play.
Milito was a perfect example of classic number nine. No matter on which feet you gave him the opportunity he would find a path for the ball to the net. He worked great on air balls and penalty kicks too. That made the playmaking job easier for the midfielders. He was very lethal in the penalty box and hardly missed chances to score. His scoring ratio was always about 0.5 goals per match during his career. He was flawless in positioning and alongside his scoring thirst he was a fantastic assist provider. Richard Williams from the Guardian says:
"Vision, timing, flawless technique and sangfroid, these two goals had everything a great striker needs, plus a sense of lyricism in the fluency of his movement. The 30-year-old Milito is hardly a fancy striker, not a Messi taking your breath away with a trick or a Tevez galvanizing the stadium with elemental force, but his economy has been just as devastating...".
Diego Milito nationality
isn't just Argentina. He has Italian roots, too. His family used to live in Terranova da Sibari, Calabria. They immigrated from southern Italy to Argentina. He married Ana Sofia in 2007 while he was playing for Zaragoza. They have three children. The elder one is Leandro who is pursuing his own football career. Augustina is the second child of the family and the first daughter. The last one is Morena. In 2016, the same time Milito said farewell to the football pitch, he said hello to Morena the newest member of his family.
In Racing Club, Diego Milito won two league titles. First in 2001 and the second in 2014. He missed one league title for Racing as player but he was on the club's executive staff. The other club trophies he was awarded, were all in Inter. In 2010 he won five major titles with Inter including Serie A, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, UEFA Champions League, and FIFA Club World Cup. The only title they didn't get to win, was the UEFA Super Cup.
In 2010 his stunning performances led to him getting many individual awards. He was named Serie A Footballer of 2010 as well as UEFA Club Forward of the Year and UEFA Club Footballer of the Year. He didn't win enough individual awards he deserved, but he always has been a fan favorite player.