Paulo Dybala - Biography

Paulo Exequiel Dybala is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for Juventus in Serie A and for the Argentina national team.

Dybala started his professional career with Instituto de Córdoba in 2011; he moved to Palermo in 2012, at the age of 18, in a reputed €8 million deal, where he established himself as one of the world's greatest young players and won Serie B. Dybala joined Juventus for €32 million in 2015 and has since won five league championships, four Coppas Italia, four times been named to the Serie A Team of the Year, and earned Serie A Most Valuable Player in 2020. He is also Juventus' fourteenth-highest goalscorer of all time.

At the age of 21, Dybala made his senior international debut for Argentina, earning over 25 caps in the process, including appearances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Copa América. He scored the game-winning goal in the latter to assist his country finish third.

Family

Dybala was born in the city of Laguna Larga in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. Bolesaw Dybaa, his grandpa, was born in the Polish hamlet of Kraniów and moved to Argentina during World War II to escape persecution. His grandfather's family relocated to Canada. Dybala's maternal great-grandmother came from the Province of Naples, and his maternal great-surname grandmother's was Da Messa.

Dybala acquired Italian citizenship on August 13, 2012, in order to ease his transfer to Palermo F.C. and avoid FIGC rules that limit each Serie A club to just two non-EU players. Dybala tried to acquire Polish citizenship via his grandfather's heritage, but the bureaucracy proved too difficult. Dybala is the youngest of three brothers, and his father passed away from cancer in 2008.

Dybala has two stripes on his left arm, an Arabic tattoo, and a crowned football on his calf, among other tattoos. Dybala and his fiancée, Oriana Sabatini, both tested positive for COVID-19 on March 21, 2020, during the pandemic in Italy; by May 6, he had recovered.

Dybala with her mom
Córdoba Institute

Dybala, often known as 'La Joya' or 'El Pibe de la Pensión,' made his professional debut at the age of 17 with his local club Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba in Argentina's Primera B Nacional (second level). He appeared in 40 games for the club, scoring 17 goals. He broke Mario Kempes' record for being the youngest player to score a goal. Dybala was also the first player in the nation to play 38 straight matches in a professional league, and the first to score two hat-tricks in a season.

Dybala also set a new record by scoring in six straight games, breaking the old mark of four.

Palermo

'We have acquired Paulo Dybala - the next Sergio Agüero,' said Maurizio Zamparini, president of the United States Città di Palermo, on April 29, 2012. However, the Instituto's general secretary, José Teaux, later that day claimed that the individual who had concluded the talks with Palermo did not have the authority to sell Dybala. Nonetheless, Palermo issued a press statement on July 20, 2012, announcing the acquisition of Dybala, who signed a four-year contract with the Sicilian club. The transfer price was €8.64 million, according to the club's financial filings.

In the 2014–15 Serie A season, Dybala scored 10 goals in the first half of the season, establishing a fruitful strike combination with fellow Argentine–Italian Franco Vázquez, and being connected with many major European teams. He has 13 goals and 10 assists during the season, making him one of the league's best assist givers.

Dybala playing for Palermo
Juventus

Juventus confirmed the signing of Dybala on a five-year contract for €32 million (plus €8 million in add-ons) on June 4, 2015. He was given the number 21 jersey, which had previously belonged to Andrea Pirlo, who had left the club the previous summer. In the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana, he came in as a 61st-minute replacement for Kingsley Coman against Lazio on August 8. In a 2–0 victory in Shanghai, he scored the second goal in the 73rd minute.

Dybala scored his first league goal for the club in the 87th minute of a 2–1 loss against Roma on August 30, 2015. Dybala scored six goals and added two assists in his first 16 appearances for Juventus in all competitions, a ratio of one goal every 151 minutes that was better than Carlos Tevez's and Alessandro Del Piero's goalscoring ratios in their first seasons with the club. Only Roberto Baggio had a better goal-scoring record in the first games of his first season in the club's history.

On December 16, Dybala scored his first Coppa Italia goal in a 4–0 victory against Torino, his cross-city rivals. Dybala scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 2–2 home draw with Bayern Munich in Juventus' opening round of 16 match on February 23, 2016. Dybala was forced to withdraw from the second round of the Champions League against Bayern Munich on March 16 owing to an edoema overload of his left soleus muscle. He made his comeback four days later in a 4–1 away victory against Torino, although he was forced to leave the game after suffering yet another injury.

Dybala scored two goals in a 3–0 home victory against Lazio on April 21, bringing his league goal total to 16 in 31 games and giving him his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. As Juventus celebrated their Serie A championship win, he completed the season as the club's leading scorer with 23 goals in all competitions and 19 goals in Serie A.

Dybala was given the number 10 shirt by Juventus after the departure of Paul Pogba to Manchester United in the summer of 2016, but he declined, choosing to retain the number 21 jersey he had worn the previous season. Following manager Massimiliano Allegri's move to a 4–2–3–1 system, Dybala played a deeper playmaking position behind new acquisition Gonzalo Higuain in the 2016–17 season, resulting in a drop in his goalscoring production as he took on more defensive and creative responsibilities.

Dybala scored two goals in Juventus' 3–0 home win against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on April 11. Dybala's contract with Juventus was extended until 2022 on April 13, 2017. Dybala began the 2017 Champions League Final on 3 June, but Juventus were beaten 4–1 by reigning champions Real Madrid, and the triple was denied.

Dybala was chosen one of three candidates for the Forward of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League season award on August 4, 2017. Dybala was confirmed to wear the number 10 jersey for Juventus on August 9th. In the 2017 Supercoppa Italiana, he scored two goals in a 3–2 loss against Lazio on August 13th. Dybala was named sixth in the 2017 UEFA Best Player of the Year Award on 15 August, and scored all three goals, including one free-kick, in Juventus' 3–1 away victory against Sassuolo on 17 September, marking his second hat-trick in Serie A.

Dybala scored a brace in a 2–0 home victory against Udinese in Serie A on March 11, 2018, and his first goal of the game was also his 100th career goal. On March 17, he made his 150th Serie A appearance in a 0–0 away draw against S.P.A.L.

Dybala made his 100th Serie A appearance for Juventus on September 1, 2018, as he came in as a late second-half replacement in a 2–1 away victory over Parma. Dybala scored a hat-trick in a 3–0 Champions League home victory against Young Boys on October 2. Dybala scored the game's lone goal in a 1–0 away victory against Manchester United in Juventus' next Champions League group encounter on October 23.

Due to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala was frequently deployed out of position in a deeper role by manager Allegri during the 2018–19 season; as a result of this positional switch, as well as injuries and disagreements with his manager, Dybala's form deteriorated, and his goalscoring output dropped significantly, scoring only five goals in 30 league matches, a drop of over 50%. Juventus, on the other hand, was able to keep their Serie A championship.

Dybala was linked with transfers to Premier League clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur after a poor 2018–19 season, but he eventually stayed with Juventus for the 2019–20 season. Although he was not anticipated to start under new manager Maurizio Sarri, he ultimately broke into the first XI and scored his first goal of the season in a 2–1 away victory over rivals Inter on October 6, 2019, to assist his team surpass the Nerazzurri at the top of the Serie A standings. In a 3–1 Serie A away loss to Lazio on December 7, he made his 200th game for Juventus.

Following a 0–0 draw after regular time in the 2020 Coppa Italia Final against Napoli on June 17, Dybala missed Juventus' first spot-kick in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, his effort being saved by Alex Meret; Napoli eventually won the match 4–2 on penalties. Dybala was named Serie A MVP for the 2019–20 season at the conclusion of the season. He scored 11 goals and added six assists to help Juventus win their ninth championship in a row.

Dybala made his first appearance of the new season on October 20, 2020, in Juventus' Champions League opener against Dynamo Kyiv, coming in as a second–half replacement in a 2–0 away victory. On November 4, Dybala scored his first goal of the season in a 4–1 victory against Ferencváros in a Champions League group stage encounter.

Dybala made his comeback on 7 April 2021, scoring the winning goal in a 2–1 home victory against Napoli after being out for months due to injury. He became the first non-European player to achieve 100 goals for Juventus in all competitions when he scored a goal in a 3–1 away victory against Sassuolo on May 12.

Dybala playing for Juventus
Career Opportunities Abroad

Dybala was eligible to play for Poland and Italy due to his familial history, but he has said that he feels Argentine and has always wanted to play for Argentina. 'I feel 100 percent Argentinian,' Dybala said. 'I wouldn't be comfortable in a national team that didn't feel like mine, to hear an anthem that wasn't my own, in colours that weren't my own.' Dybala was selected for the Argentina under-17 squad to compete at the XVI Pan American Games, however he did not compete in the event. He got his first call-up for the under-20 squad on July 19, 2012, but he refused.

Dybala was initially called up to the Argentina senior squad by manager Gerardo Martino on September 22, 2015, but his first debut came on October 13, 2015, when he came off the bench to replace Carlos Tevez in the 75th minute of a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay. He was left out of Argentina's 23-man team for the Copa América Centenario in May 2016.

Despite Juventus' insistence that Dybala would not be released for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he was included to Martino's 35-man preliminary under-23 team for the tournament on May 24; nevertheless, he was not named to the tournament's final roster.

Dybala was selected to Argentina's preliminary 35-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in May 2018, and was subsequently included to Jorge Sampaoli's final 23-man roster for the tournament later that month. He made his World Cup debut in Argentina's second group encounter against Croatia on June 21, coming in as a second-half replacement for Enzo Pérez in the 68th minute of a 3–0 loss. Argentina was eliminated in the round of 16 on June 30th, after losing 4–3 to France. This was his last participation in the competition.

Dybala was included to Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni's preliminary 40-man roster for the 2019 Copa América in May of this year. Later following month, he was named to the tournament's final 23-man team. After coming off the bench for Lautaro Martnez in Argentina's last group encounter against Qatar on June 23, Dybala assisted Agüero's goal in a 2–0 victory, allowing them to progress to the knockout rounds of the tournament. Dybala made his first start of the tournament in the third-place match against Chile on July 6, scoring Argentina's second goal in a 2–1 victory to assist his side win the bronze medal.

Dybala playing for his country
Playing Method

Dybala is renowned for his strong and accurate shoots from beyond the box, dribbling abilities, balance, and tight control in restricted areas, as well as his ability to defeat opponents in one-on-one situations and protect or hold up the ball for teammates with his back to goal. He excels in counter-attacks and beating the offside trap while making offensive runs because to his ball speed, positioning, clever movement, and ball abilities. He's a diligent worker who's also renowned for his endurance and defensive play off the ball.

Dybala's vision, passing, link-up play, and ability to drop deep and play off of other players, as well as his strong and accurate ball-striking abilities from both inside and beyond the area, allow him to both create opportunities for teammates and score goals for himself. Dybala can score with his head despite his small height, thanks to his quickness over short distances and his ability to anticipate opponents within the area.

He began his career as a left winger with Instituto in Argentina, but after moving to Italy, he has been used as a main striker, a centre-forward, a second striker, an attacking midfielder, a wide playmaker in a free role, and as a rig. Due to his ability to create from the left or cut inside and score from the right, he has also been deployed in a free attacking position on occasion, when he is allowed to roam around the final third of the field and either drop into the centre or swap between the wings.

Dybala is also a good free kicker and penalty kicker. Sergio Agüero, Javier Pastore, Carlos Tevez, Omar Svori, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messi have all been compared to him, as have former Italian strikers Vincenzo Montella, Alessandro Del Piero, and Roberto Baggio, who hailed Dybala as the number 10 of the future in 2017. Don Balón named him one of the 100 most promising young players in the world born after 1993 in 2014. He is widely regarded as a very gifted prospect in global football. Despite his skill, the media has questioned his mindset, consistency, and leadership abilities on many occasions.

Dybala is renowned for utilising his signature after scoring a goal ''My mask motion isn't so much a goal celebration as it is a statement,' he said of the gesture. It's the perfect mask for gladiators to battle in. The concept for this celebration was developed in Doha versus Milan after we lost the Supercoppa.'

Dybala at practice session