Sonja Missio Date:20th December 2013 at 9:36am
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Udinese play one more match—the early game on Saturday, away at Livorno—before the winter break. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here is a Christmas-themed Udinese article!

But not just any Christmas-themed Udinese article. This one is about Mr. Christmas himself: Mr. Antonio Di Natale.

And, no, that pun will never get old.

Anyway, Di Natale is the goal-scoring-gift that keeps on giving all year and to celebrate that fact, here is a list of ten (after his shirt number, of course!) facts about everyone’s favourite faux Friulano:

10. Di Natale joined Udinese in 2004. He started his youth career at Empoli, and continued to play on the senior team—except for brief loans to Iperzola and Varese–until he joined the Little Zebras in 2004. In 2007, he was named captain of Udinese. Di Natale made his international debut for the Azzurri on November 20, 2002 at the age of 25 in a match against Turkey.

9. He is a kind of weird, but endearing, guy. According to his wife Ilenia Betti, Toto proposed on April 1st as some sort of weird-but-actually-true April Fool’s Day joke. According to Betti, the grand romantic gesture was “no proposal because [he] hates these conventions and is not at all the romantic type.”

Di Natale - Udinese8. To go along with the weird-but-endearing, he has never dedicated a goal to children, because, according to Betti, he hates to do what all his teammates do. However, she affirms he is a good father and he has both his children’s names—son, Filippo and daughter, Diletta—tattooed onto each arm.

7. However, he has never once changed a diaper, for either of his children.

6. While Udinese may have an empty trophy room, Di Natale has quite a bit of silverware on his home mantle. He has been awarded Italian Footballer of the Year (2010) and the Pallone d’Argento (2011), which recognizes players for their moral qualities. Additionally, he was the Serie A Top Goal Scorer for two years in a row (2010, 2011) and came in second for 2012.

5. He and his wife started a clothing line with a friend, Massimo Di Fiore. Called “Equipe Desirè,” Di Natale acted as the brand ambassador.

4. Additionally, he is also a partner for a coffee manufacture, which carries the signature blend “Toto.”

3. But, he’s not just a striker, a fashion designer, and a corporate barista, he models too! He is currently featured in the Dolce & Gabbana: Nazionale ad campaign, along with other Italian national players.

However, he got his big break during the 2010 World Cup, Di Natale – along with Vincenzo Iaquinta, Claudio Marchisio, Federico Marchetti and Domenico Criscito – became the faces for the then-latest Dolce & Gabbana underwear advertising campaign.

Photographed by Mariano Vivanco, the campaign was designed to “display healthy and athletic bodies sculpted through rigorous training sessions and discipline.” Which leads to fact number two…

2. … Di Natale would appear to prefer briefs over boxers.

1. Di Natale is a lot of things, a bit of a weirdo, a fashionisto, a husband, a father, a captain, a Neapolitan, but overall, he is a good guy.

After the death of his Udinese teammate, Piermario Morosini, Di Natale, along with Udinese per la Vita (Udinese’s Foundation), promised to financially care for Morosini’s sister—who had no other family members and is living with a disability—for the rest of her life.

And there you have it, 10 facts about Di Natale. Merry Christmas!


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