Simone Zaza

Simone Zaza (born 25 June 1991) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Torino and the Italian national team.

Simone Zaza
Zaza with Sassuolo in 2014
Personal information
Full name Simone Zaza[1]
Date of birth (1991-06-25) 25 June 1991 (age 30)
Place of birth Policoro, Italy
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2][3]
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 11
Youth career
1997–2002 Stella Azzurra Bernalda
2002–2006 Valdera
2006–2008 Atalanta
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Atalanta 3 (0)
2010–2013 Sampdoria 2 (0)
2011–2012Juve Stabia (loan) 4 (0)
2012Viareggio (loan) 18 (11)
2012–2013Ascoli (loan) 35 (18)
2013 Juventus 0 (0)
2013–2015 Sassuolo 64 (20)
2015–2017 Juventus 19 (5)
2016–2017West Ham United (loan) 8 (0)
2017Valencia (loan) 20 (6)
2017–2019 Valencia 33 (13)
2018–2019Torino (loan) 29 (4)
2019– Torino 53 (12)
National team
2007 Italy U16 3 (0)
2007 Italy U17 2 (0)
2009–2010 Italy U19 1 (0)
2014– Italy 18 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:27, 23 May 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Zaza began his professional club career with Atalanta in 2008, where he remained for two seasons. In 2010, he moved to Sampdoria, where he was sent on loan spells to Juve Stabia, Viareggio and Ascoli. In 2013, he joined Sassuolo, and in 2015, Juventus. In his first season with the latter club, he immediately won a domestic double. At international level, Zaza made his senior debut for Italy in 2014, and went on to represent his nation at UEFA Euro 2016.

Club career

Early career

Born in Policoro in the Province of Matera, Zaza grew up in Metaponto and began his youth career with Stella Azzurra from Bernalda in 1997. He remained with the organization until 2002, when he moved to the youth academy of Valdera at the age of 11. He remained until 2006, when he was scouted by Serie A side Atalanta, whom he joined shortly after. He remained within the club's youth team for four years and even began to earn senior call-ups towards the end of the 2008–09 Serie A campaign.[4] He made his Serie A debut on 1 March 2009 in a 0–2 home defeat to Chievo Verona as an 86th-minute substitute for Ferreira Pinto.[5] He made two further substitute appearances for Atalanta that season, though he remained within the club's youth setup for the entire 2009–10 Serie A campaign.


In July 2010, Zaza transferred from Atalanta to fellow Serie A side Sampdoria on a four-year contract. With the Genoa-based club, he was enlisted in the club's Primavera (under-20) youth team for the 2010–11 season, though he also earned several first team callups, including two substitute appearances against Genoa and Fiorentina during the 2010–11 Serie A campaign. He was promoted to the first team at the conclusion of that season.

Juve Stabia and Viareggio (loans)

On 14 July 2011, Zaza was officially sent out on loan to Juve Stabia in Serie B on what was set to be a season-long deal. After just four appearances and no goals for the club, Sampdoria opted to recall the player during the 2012 January transfer window. On 7 January 2012, the club loaned the player to Lega Pro Prima Divisione side, Viareggio on a six-month deal to provide the youngster with regular first team experience. His stint with the third-division club turned out to be very successful; he managed 11 goals in 18 league appearances, 17 as a starter.

Ascoli (loan)

After returning to Sampdoria on 30 June 2012, Zaza joined Ascoli on another season-long loan deal ahead of the 2012–13 Serie B campaign. He officially joined the club on 16 July and made his debut in a 1–3 home loss to Bari on 1 September. Zaza went on to score 18 league goals in 35 Serie B appearances (30 as a starter) en route to becoming the sixth top goalscorer for the season. His goals were unable to prevent Ascoli's relegation as they finished the season 20th in the league table. He returned to Sampdoria on 30 June 2013.


On 9 July 2013, Juventus purchased him outright from Sampdoria for €3.5 million. Simultaneously, he transferred to Sassuolo from Juventus in a co-ownership deal for €2.5 million.[6] He returned to play in Serie A in the first round of the league, with Sassuolo losing to Torino 2–0. On 1 September 2013, during the second round of the league, he scored his first goal in Serie A as the team lost 4–1 to Livorno.[7] Thanks to his effort, Sassuolo secured their first point in the Italian top flight, with the goal scored in the fifth day against Napoli, 1–1.[8]

On 20 June 2014, Sassuolo bought Zaza outright from Juventus for another €7.5 million.[9] Juventus, however, retained the right to re-purchase Zaza for a reported €15 million by 30 June 2015 and €18 million by 30 June 2016.[10]


On 7 July 2015, Juventus announced that they had exercised their option to sign Zaza for €18 million from Sassuolo.[11] It was reported that the return of Domenico Berardi to Sassuolo for a €10 million fee was part of the deal.[12] On 23 September 2015, Zaza opened the scoring in the 50th minute on his debut, a 1–1 draw against Frosinone.[13] On 30 September 2015, he scored the final goal against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League group stage to secure a 2–0 win;[14] this was his first Champions League goal.[15] He scored the opening two goals of a 4–0 win over cross-city rivals Torino in the Coppa Italia on 16 December.[16]

West Ham United (loan)

On 28 August 2016, West Ham United announced that they had loaned Zaza for a €5 million loan fee, with a €20 million permanent obligation to buy after a certain number of Premier League appearances, plus €3 million in bonuses.[17] He made his debut with the club on 10 September, in a 4–2 home defeat to Watford in the Premier League.[18] Zaza made 11 appearances for West Ham, eight in the Premier League and three in the EFL Cup, all without scoring. His last game came on 30 November, in a 1–4 away defeat to Manchester United in the EFL Cup. He developed a knee injury in December and was not selected again before leaving the club in January 2017.[19]


On 15 January 2017, Zaza was signed by La Liga club Valencia CF on loan,[20] for a €2 million fee, with a €16 million permanent obligation to buy fee after a certain number of first team appearances by 30 June 2017, plus €2 million in bonuses.[21] On 21 January, he made his debut with the club in a 2–0 away win against Villareal.[22] On 19 February, he scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 home win over Athletic Bilbao.[23] In his next league appearance on 22 February, he scored the opening goal with a notable left footed strike on the turn to help Valencia to a 2–1 home victory over Real Madrid.[24] On 10 April, Zaza was bought outright by Valencia from Juventus until 2021 for the previous agreed fee, effective after 30 June.[25][26] On 19 September, he scored a hat-trick in under 10 minutes of a 5–0 home win over Málaga.[27]


On 17 August 2018, he was loaned to Torino for €2 million, with a €12 million obligation to buy at the end of the season.[28] In the first game of new manager Davide Nicola, he scored two second-half goals to help Torino draw 2–2, having been two goals down at half-time.[29]

International career

Zaza has represented Italy in under-16, under-17, and under-19 levels.

On 31 August 2014, he was called up by head coach Antonio Conte as part of the senior team squad for a friendly match against the Netherlands and the first UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying game against Norway. On 4 September, Zaza made his debut with the Italian national team, playing as a starter in a 2–0 win against the Netherlands. He was fouled by Bruno Martins Indi in the ninth minute to win the penalty kick from which Daniele De Rossi scored Italy's second goal in the 2–0 victory.[30] On 9 September, Zaza scored his first goal for the Italian national team in the 16th minute of their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway, of a 2–0 victory.[31] On 31 May 2016, he was named to Conte's 23-man Italy squad for Euro 2016.[32] On 17 June, he came off the bench to set-up Éder's match-winning goal against Sweden in the 88th minute of his nation's second group match, which qualified Italy to the Round of 16.[33] On 2 July, he was brought on in the last few seconds of extra-time to take a penalty in the resulting penalty shoot-out against Germany in the quarter-final match up, which he subsequently missed after a bizarre run up to the ball, as Italy were defeated in the shoot-out 6–5 and eliminated from the tournament.[34][35] In the events after the match, Zaza issued an apology to the fans of the national team stating, "I am sorry to have let the Italian people down. I missed the most important penalty of my life and I will carry this burden with me forever ... I have always taken penalties like that and I was convinced I would score, I had sent him [Manuel Neuer] the wrong way but the ball set off and it went like that."[36][37]

Zaza was called up to the Italy squad for its May and June 2018 friendlies by the newly appointed Roberto Mancini for the first time since Euro 2016.[38] He made an appearance in the last string of friendlies on 4 June against the Netherlands, where he scored the opening goal of a 1–1 draw in Turin.[39]

Style of play

Zaza is a quick, strong and well-rounded left-footed forward, with solid technique, a powerful shot, and an eye for goal. A physical, tenacious and hard-working player, he is a versatile striker, who is capable of playing both as a centre-forward and off of his teammates as a second striker. Due to his physical attributes, offensive movement, heading accuracy, and his positional sense, he also excels in the air.[40][41][42]

Career statistics


As of match played 23 May 2021[19]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Atalanta 2008–09 Serie A 300030
2009–10 000000
Sampdoria 2010–11 Serie A 200020
Juve Stabia (loan) 2011–12 Serie B 400040
Viareggio (loan) 2011–12 Lega Pro 18111811
Ascoli (loan) 2012–13 Serie B 3518103618
Sassuolo 2013–14 Serie A 33920359
2014–15 3111313412
Total 6420516921
Juventus 2015–16 Serie A 1953221248
West Ham United (loan) 2016–17 Premier League 800030110
Valencia (loan) 2016–17 La Liga 206206
Valencia 2017–18 3313603913
Total 5319605919
Torino (loan) 2018–19 Serie A 29410304
Torino 2019–20 2461063319
2020–21 29621317
Total 821641639220
Career total 28889194308431897


    As of match played on 12 October 2018[43]

    International goals

    Scores and results list Italy's goal tally first.[43]
    1.9 September 2014Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway Norway1–02–0UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
    2.4 June 2018Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy Netherlands1–01–1Friendly




    1. "Acta del Partido celebrado el 20 de mayo de 2018, en Valencia" [Minutes of the Match held on 20 May 2018, in Valencia] (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
    2. "Simone Zaza". Archived from the original on 5 October 2015.
    3. "Valencia profile". Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
    4. Italy - S. Zaza - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway
    5. Game report by ESPN
    6. "Operazioni di mercato". 9 July 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
    7. Match Report - Sassuolo 1 - 4 Livorno | 01 Sep 2013
    8. "Testacoda amaro: al San Paolo finisce 1–1 tra Napoli e Sassuolo". 25 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
    9. "Agreements with Sassuolo Calcio" (PDF). Juventus FC. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
    10. "Zaza, dalla Samp alla Nazionale nel segno di Paratici. Con quella doppia opzione di riscatto per la Juve..." Di Marzio. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
    11. "Zaza è bianconero". Juventus FC. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
    12. "Il Sassuolo "lascia" Zaza e "fa suo" Berardi. La Juve può ricomprarlo nel 2016". Tuttosport (in Italian). 23 June 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
    13. "Juventus 1 - 1 Frosinone". Football Italia. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
    14. Creek, Stephen (30 September 2015). "Juventus 2-0 Sevilla: Morata and Zaza net in comfortable win". Retrieved 21 September 2020.
    15. "Zaza shares credit for goal glory". 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
    16. "Coppa: Four-star Juve crush Toro". Football Italia. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
    17. "Hammers land Italy star Zaza". West Ham United F.C. 28 August 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
    18. Vinny Ryan (11 September 2016). "West Ham's collapse vs. Watford leaves Bilic with plenty of problems". ESPN FC. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
    19. Simone Zaza at Soccerway
    20. Zaza, nuevo jugador del Valencia CF Valencia CF (in Spanish)
    21. "Agreement with Valencia for the transfer of player Simone Zaza" (PDF). Juventus F.C. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
    22. "Liga: Real campione d'inverno. Debutta Zaza, il Valencia vince col Villarreal" [Liga: Real winter champion. Zaza makes his debut, Valencia wins against Villareal] (in Italian). 21 January 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
    23. "Barcelona win late with Messi penalty; Nani, Zaza score in Valencia win". ESPN FC. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
    24. "Zaza and Orellana condemn Real Madrid to surprise defeat at Valencia". The Guardian. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
    25. "Official: Zaza signs for Valencia". Football Italia. Tiro Media. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
    26. "Official statement I Simone Zaza". Valencia CF. 10 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
    27. "Zaza hat-trick fires five-star Valencia into third". 19 September 2017.
    28. "Official: Zaza signs for Torino". Football Italia. Tiro Media. 17 August 2018.
    29. Azzi, Marco (21 January 2021). "Benevento-Torino 2-2: rimonta targata Zaza, pari al 93'" [Benevento 2-2 Torino: Zaza makes a comeback in the 93rd minute]. la Repubblica (in Italian). GEDI Gruppo Editoriale. ISSN 0390-1076. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
    30. "Italy 2–0 Netherlands". BBC Sport. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
    31. Gladwell, Ben (9 September 2014). "Norway-Italy | Solid Italy kick off with a win in Norway". Retrieved 21 September 2020.
    32. "OFFICIAL: Italy squad for Euro 2016". Football Italia. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
    33. "Eder takes Sweden down". Football Italia. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
    34. Adams, Sam (2 July 2016). "Hector the shoot-out hero as Germany finally defeat Italy". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
    35. "Italy out to sudden death Germany". Football Italia. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
    36. "Simone Zaza explains his penalty gaffe for Italy at Euro 2016". Sky Sports. 4 July 2016.
    37. "Simone Zaza sorry for 'letting down' Italy fans with Euro 2016 penalty miss". ESPNFC. 4 July 2016.
    38. "Italy: Balotelli in Mancini squad". Football Italia. 18 May 2018.
    39. "Zaza: 'Emotional at Italy goal'". Football Italia. 4 June 2018.
    40. "Scheda tecnica di Simone Zaza" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
    41. Greg Lea (3 December 2014). "Simone Zaza: 'Better than Vieri' and able to take on Zlatan at Taekwondo". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
    42. "Febbre da '90: i talenti italiani" ['90s Fever: the Italian talents] (in Italian). Sport Mediaset. 29 December 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
    43. Simone Zaza at