This detailed article on Francesco Acerbi’s Biography presents you with facts surrounding his early years, shedding light on his childhood, his parents – the late Roberto Acerbi (Father) and Mother, along with his siblings – Federico Acerbi (Brother) and Sabrina Acerbi (Sister). It also provides details about his family background, his spouse Claudia Scarpari, and their child, Vittoria Acerbi.
The article further delves into Acerbi’s roots, hometown, ethnicity, and religious beliefs. It also touches upon his body art. Additionally, it offers insights into the seasoned Defender’s net worth, lifestyle, personal life, and salary details during his tenure with Inter Milan.
In essence, SoccerBiography encapsulates the comprehensive life history of Francesco Acerbi. This narrative follows the journey of a footballer whose life trajectory has been marked by resolute battles against grave adversities. Curious about the nature of these adversities? Acerbi was once diagnosed with testicular cancer.
In 2013, Acerbi received the distressing news of his cancer diagnosis, a reality that saw him fighting for his very existence. However, Acerbi’s resolute willpower and determination have enabled him to triumph over testicular cancer not once, but twice. This fighting spirit has been evident in the Euro 2020 winner since his formative years.
After undergoing emergency surgery, which necessitated the removal of one of his testicles, Acerbi rebounded with even greater strength. Having defeated cancer, he emerged as a more well-rounded player, exhibiting an exemplary mindset.
To witness Acerbi’s resilient spirit, one needs to look no further than his post-cancer workout routine. After his victorious battle against the deadly disease, this seasoned Defender has displayed a decisive inner strength, shaping him into the formidable player he is today.
Our journey through Francesco Acerbi’s life story commences by exploring significant episodes from his childhood.
We’ll then navigate through his early professional encounters with Pavia, his hometown club, before narrating the ascension of the seasoned Italian Defender who propelled Inter to the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League Finals.
At SoccerBiography, our aim is to ignite your interest in autobiographies as you delve into Francesco Acerbi’s life story. Indeed, the journey of the stalwart Inter Milan centre-back has been nothing short of astonishing.
Surely, Acerbi is recognized by all football enthusiasts as a formidable, tough-tackling defender. As of this writing, he is highly regarded as one of Italy’s best central defenders, owing to his exceptional ball-handling skills, consistent performances, leadership attributes, and impressive technique.
Importantly, Acerbi stands among the rare breed of defenders globally who can score goals from long-range shots. Have you had a chance to witness this spectacular long-range goal netted by the defender who triumphed over testicular cancer?
In our experience of chronicling the lives of Italian centre-backs, we discovered an information gap. The reality is, many football fans are yet to read Francesco Acerbi’s thrilling biography. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in.
About Francesco Acerbi’s Childhood:
Commonly referred to as ‘The Lion’, Francesco Acerbi was born on February 10, 1988, to his late father, Roberto Acerbi, and his Italian mother, in Vizzolo Predabissi, Italy.
The seasoned Italian defender is one of three children from the union of his mother and late father. Before we introduce his siblings – brother Federico and sister Sabrina, let’s acquaint you with Francesco Acerbi’s parents. The Italian defender derives immense strength from his mother, his sole remaining parent.
From what our research reveals, Francesco Acerbi grew up with his two siblings – brother Federico and sister Sabrina. Within his family, he holds the place of the second child and first son, with Sabrina being the eldest and Federico the youngest.
Francesco Acerbi treasures the memories of his childhood spent with his siblings, often reminiscing about their shared moments of joy. The siblings, children of the late Roberto Acerbi, fondly remember the delight they experienced during their beach trips in their younger years.
Formative Years with Football:
His journey into the world of football began under the watchful eyes and guidance of his late father, Roberto. Francesco shared a profound connection with his father, a bond that stretched from their family home to the football pitch. They enjoyed numerous light-hearted moments together, with their shared love for football at the heart of their relationship.
Reflecting on the past, Francesco Acerbi vividly remembers his penchant for donning any football jersey he could find. This included the blue jersey of the Italian national team and that of his idol, a former player for AC Milan. As for his childhood idol, it was none other than the legendary George Weah.
You may be curious as to why a defender like Acerbi would idolize a striker. Here’s why: Francesco Acerbi initially played football as a forward, so it’s understandable why he looked up to the former Ballon d’Or winner.
While discussing his idol and mentioning forwards who have given him the toughest time in his career, including Ibrahimovic, Higuain, and Edin Dzeko, Acerbi touched on his career beginnings, saying;
“As a kid, I played forward, and my idol was George Weah, he was really strong.”
Getting to know Francesco Acerbi’s Parents:
The champion of Euro 2020 credits his mother as being the best among all mothers. While his father and siblings played significant roles in his life, Acerbi acknowledges that his mother pampered him extensively, which sometimes drove him to the edge of frustration. The close bond between mothers and their firstborn sons is a well-known phenomenon, and the relationship between Acerbi and his mother is a testament to that.
On a particular Mother’s Day, Francesco Acerbi shared a light-hearted jest about his mother that quickly went viral. The central defender posted a picture of his mother with a cardboard cutout of his face, quipping,
“When your mother can’t recall your face, she settles for a hard copy. Happy Mother’s Day.”
Acerbi’s family now comprises his mother and two siblings – his brother, Federico, and sister, Sabrina. In an Instagram post dated February 5, 2019, he paid a heartfelt tribute to his late father, writing,
“Hi Dad, today would have been your birthday. And even though I never said it, you are and will always be my idol. Thank you for always being there, even if you’re not here anymore, we’ll always be your family. I remember every day how much I miss you.”
Francesco Acerbi’s Family Roots:
The central defender, who bravely triumphed over cancer, is a true Italian. Acerbi holds Italian citizenship, and it’s likely that both his parents (including his late father) were natives of Italy.
In terms of Francesco Acerbi’s family origins, our research indicates they are from Vizzolo Predabissi. This tranquil town is located in southeast Milan, nestled within the Lombardy region of Italy. Here’s a glimpse into Acerbi’s roots – the serene town of Vizzolo Predabissi.
Francesco Acerbi aligns himself with the Italian people, a community celebrated for its rich and varied cultural heritage. This ethnic group, native to Italy, is renowned for its culture, language, traditions, and legacy.
Francesco Acerbi’s Early Football Journey:
Launching his football career in Vizzolo Predabissi, Lombardy, the young sportsperson started out with his local Lombard team, Pavia. Francesco Acerbi initially took to the field as a Striker before transitioning to a defensive role.
He still fondly remembers his first coach, Mr. Clerici, who repositioned him from striker to central defender. Upon Clerici’s passing, Acerbi paid an emotional tribute to him on Instagram, saying,
“Today is a sad day!!! You were a role model for me. We spent unforgettable years together. You significantly contributed to both my personal and professional growth. You were the coach who shifted me from striker to central defender. Rest in peace, Mr. Clerici.”
Hurdles in the Early Career:
As a young player with the Pavia youth team, Francesco Acerbi lacked the discipline of a professional athlete. He once admitted,
“In the early stages of my career, I often arrived at the pitch in a semi-drunken state. I was often still under the influence of the previous night’s drinks.”
Due to his physical robustness, he managed to get by on just a few hours of sleep and still perform on the pitch. At one point, Acerbi even contemplated quitting, as football seemed to have lost its charm for him. He struggled to find motivation, which led to many heartfelt conversations with his mother.
Acerbi’s change in attitude was influenced by his mother and his friend, Paloschi. His mother instilled in him a fresh sense of faith, ensuring that he prayed twice daily – in the morning and evening. Even then, he wasn’t a saint and continued to stir up minor troubles. Reflecting on this transformation, Acerbi once shared,
“I came to understand who I am now, and I was able to distinguish between good and bad. Furthermore, I knew who I could trust and learned to distance myself from people I considered negative.”
During these challenging early years, Acerbi found himself constantly loaned out to different clubs. From 2007 to 2011, he accepted loan transfers to three different teams and made less-than-successful moves to three others – Reggina, Genoa, and Chievo.
On June 20, 2012, AC Milan purchased Chievo’s 50 per cent stake in Francesco Acerbi. In his autobiographical book ‘Tutto bene’, Acerbi detailed how he missed a significant opportunity during his stint with the Italian giants, AC Milan.
Francesco Acerbi Biography – Tough Journey to Fame:
Upon his arrival in Milan, former club CEO Adriano Galliani encouraged Acerbi to inherit the shirt number of legendary player Alessandro Nesta or Ariedo Braida. The club’s Sporting Director, being aware of Acerbi’s indulgent lifestyle, made sure he was accommodated in Gallarate, not Milan.
Acerbi made his Milan debut in their 3-1 win over Bologna. However, he struggled to secure a regular place in the starting line-up, leading to his eventual departure from the club. Even while donning Nesta’s number 13, Acerbi didn’t seem to truly value the significance of playing for a major club like Milan or wearing the shirt of a two-time Champions League winner.
In the summer of 2013, Francesco Acerbi was all set to begin his journey with his new club, Sassuolo. But during a routine pre-season medical examination, a discrepancy in his blood test raised concerns. Further investigation led to a life-altering diagnosis –
“Cancer in his left testicle.”
This shocking discovery revealed that Acerbi had a testicular tumour. Immediately, he underwent emergency surgery at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan to remove his left testicle.
Reflecting on the surgery in an interview with the National Center for Oncological Hadrontherapy (CNAO), Acerbi admitted,
“I was gripped by fear and anxiety, and I didn’t know what I was getting into. Again, I was terrified at the thought of possibly never playing football again.”
Facing such a serious health issue, something shifted in Acerbi’s perspective on life. Strangely, cancer became his catalyst for a better career, and the battle against the disease taught him never to back down.
Overcoming Cancer Twice:
Just three weeks post-surgery, the Italian Defender was back on the field, kicking a football. However, the testicular cancer resurfaced for a second time.
Acerbi first suspected this when he tested positive for chorionic gonadotropin in an anti-doping test following a match against Cagliari on December 1, 2013. The results suggested a recurrence of his cancer, this time in his right testicle.
Undeterred, Acerbi bravely underwent a three-month chemotherapy regimen. Throughout the intense treatment during the 2013/2014 season, he stayed away from the pitch. Demonstrating a fighting spirit, the Lion Defender valiantly battled the disease and triumphed over it a second time.
Francesco Acerbi Biography – Ascension to Stardom:
Following his recovery, Acerbi returned to the pitch in the summer of 2014, rejuvenated and transformed. As a brand new type of Central Defender, his enhanced performance enabled him to score his first Serie A goal for Sassuolo on October 25, 2014.
In the summer of 2018, Acerbi took a significant stride in his career by joining Lazio on a five-year contract. Under the guidance of coach Simone Inzaghi, the man who had overcome cancer twice became the backbone of the Biancoceleste defence. After scoring an impressive long-range goal, it was clear to all that Acerbi had truly been reborn.
At Lazio, Acerbi’s success continued, securing the Italian Cup in the 2018/19 season and the Italian Super Cup in 2019, where Lazio triumphed over Allegri’s Juventus. His stellar performance secured him a spot in Italy’s squad for UEFA Euro 2020.
Acerbi’s rising prestige saw him lining up alongside renowned defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the Euro 2020 squad. Together, they led the Azzurri to the knockout stages and ultimately clinched the tournament against Harry Kane’s England.
Recognized for his robust tackles, physical prowess, ball-playing ability and refined technique, Acerbi caught the eye of top-tier clubs across Europe. On September 1, 2022, he was reunited with his former Lazio boss, Simone Inzaghi, when he signed with Inter Milan.
Since joining Inter Milan, Acerbi, now known as ‘the Lion’, has established himself as one of the premier Serie A and Italian defenders (alongside Alessandro Bastoni).
As of the writing of this biography, he became part of the Lautaro Martinez-led Inter Milan team that reached the UEFA Champions League final of 2023, where they will face Manchester City. The rest, as they say, of the formidable centre-back’s story, is now history.