Saturday, January 31, 2009

Juan Camilo Zuniga

Club: AC Siena
DOB: 14 December 1985 (Age 23)
Nationality: Colombian
EU Passport: No
Position: Right Back, Right Midfielder

An attacking full back, Zuniga, burst onto the world stage in the 2005 under-20 World Youth Cup. AC Siena picked him up, in the summer of 2008, for a reported fee of
€3 million. The lad has blistering pace; combine that with excellent control over the ball and beautiful dribbling skills, you get yourself a nightmare for Serie A defenders. Zuniga has that extra yard of pace that helps him breeze past defences in the opposition's third. He is at his best when given the freedom to move forward. He provides defence splitting through passes, very good long balls and loves to run at defenders. Very Brazilian in style, Zuniga enjoys the occasional moment of flamboyance. Blessed with such attacking skills, he can easily play as a right sided midfielder. His pace can be used in swift counter attacks. He possesses good vision and and puts in good crosses for strikers.

Despite being attack minded, defensively, he is rock solid. He proved his worth against AC Milan at the San Siro, where he held his own against the likes of Alexandre Pato, Kaka, Gianluca Zambrotta & Clarence Seedorf. His tackles are excellent, timed to perfection and he is a match to most in one on one situations. He is a strong lad and holds off players while in possession. Though, what makes him a quality player is his calm and confident demeanour and fearlessness. Even in a tricky situation he looks to dribble his way out of trouble. These are the hallmarks of a future world beater. Defenders like Giorgio Cheillini, Fabio Cannavaro etc possess these traits. Not that I am saying he is in that league, yet. But he has the qualities to get there.

But as with any player he has his flaws. Due to his short stature he is unable to challenge in the air and as a result has poor heading and jumping skills. Occassionally he gets caught out of position but that is only natural with an attack minded full back. With experience he should improve in this area.

I reckon Zuniga has a very bright future ahead of him and should one day have his name spoken in the same sentence as Emmanuel Eboue, Maicon & Dani Alves. I would recommend clubs to break their bank for this lad. Currently should not cost more than €10 million.

Competition includes Emmanuel Eboue, Maicon, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Jonathan Zebina, Bakary Sagna, Valon Behrami, Gianluca Zambrotta etc.

Matches scouted in
AC Milan v/s AC Siena - 29/10/2008
Napoli v/s AC Siena - 7/12/2008
AC Siena v/s Reggina - 17/1/2009

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