Defying the odds in a short time, the Gabriel Strefezza story by Gaspare Marsala
Full name: Gabriel Tadeu Strefezza Rebelato
Date Of Birth: 18/04/97 (24 years old)
Place Of Birth: Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Height: 168 cm
Youth career: Corinthians, SPAL
Current club: U.S. LECCE
Squad number: 27
National team: N/A
Position: Right winger, Right midfield, Left winger
Market Value: (by transfermarkt.us) 5.500,000 Euros
Contract Until: 30/06/25
Agent: Piccioli and Lombardi
Rumors: Torino F.C.
Similar Type of Player: Daniele Verde
Physicality – he may lose the occasional 50/50 challenges based on his strength but his resilience and determination to attempt to win back possession goes unmatched.
Joining SPAL’s youth academy from Corinthians back in 2016 Gabriel Strefezza was looking to mix the flair of Brazilian football with the technique of the legendary Italian game, and now with over 5 years playing in Italy his talents are beginning to shine. Known for his explosive skill and shorter stature Strefezza managed to turn heads early on in Ferrara which inevitably led to his first team debut as a substitute just a little over a year after joining the side. He would later go on to make his full professional debut in the same year while out on loan with Italian 3rd division side Juve Stabia, where he’d have the opportunity to better learn and adapt to the Italian style of football. His education continued in Cremonese where he had finally done enough to earn a call back to SPAL for their 2019/2020 Serie A season. Comfortable and now adapted he was thrust into the Italian top flight at full speed, playing a total 32 matches of a scheduled 38 even managing a goal and 2 assists in the process. Despite ultimate relegation Strefezza’s quality was unquestionable and his place in the team became solidified the following season as he went on to score 4 goals and dominate the second division with much more ease than most, his confidence grew as was evident on the pitch and a number of teams began to take notice. As SPAL’s hopes for a return to the top slowly diminished, another team on the surge for Serie A felt they needed a boost to help them and on August 2021 U.S. Lecce signed Strefezza to a permanent deal.
Type of player:
Strefezza is your traditional Brazilian winger, always putting on a show, every touch is better than the one before, he can beat a defender with a few stepovers or something as simple as a wiggle of the hip or a drop of the shoulder. His low center of gravity makes him able to weave in and out of danger and find little pockets to play his teammates into. He often draws opponents into tight spaces as he is able to find his way out with an improvised skill or clever ball retention. Usually stationed on the right wing Strefezza can make life hard for you anywhere he plays on the pitch, whether it be on the left side where he can use a faint of the body to cut in on his preferred right foot and produce a venomous strike on goal or just in the midfield where he can find a through ball or take off on an unscripted run that leads to open spaces all over the field. Beginning his career as a right back Strefezza has strong defensive instincts as well, his composure in possession and accurate crossing along with his ability to track back after an unexpected giveaway is admirable for someone who has moved to a more attacking position in the last 5/6 years.
Currently sitting in 2nd place, Lecce seem to be on route to achieving top flight promotion, with Strefezza contributing 10 goals and 4 assists thus far to the Puglia based sides success. A regular starter on the Right wing Strefezza has played in 21 of his teams 23 games this season and only looks to be improving every game that passes.
On the ball:
Whilst in possession Strefezza is very attacking minded, always looking forward, he will take every opportunity to take on his man one on one, he is eager to find spaces where he can get off a quick snapshot or quick to rush into open space with his speed and look for any route to the goal. He keeps the ball in close control and can outwit most defenders with his quick feet and decision making. His appearance gives off the impression of little power but when in position to strike on goal he is sure to stun the average goalkeeper.
Off the ball:
Having had experience in the fullback role, when not in possession Strefezza is always using his energy to help the team. His speed allows him to fill in for players out of position and his creativity causes attackers to endure an unorthodox defending style which often leaves them on the back foot. His determination to win back the ball can be a problem for oppositions as he will not leave his mark alone even if it means just shadowing.
Many players go unnoticed in the modern game, while many players get noticed for the wrong reasons, some are natural born talents others are trained works of art, but if you took your natural talent and applied the hard work of training in an atmosphere conducive to growth both personally and professionally you could just come out to be another Gabriel Strefezza, humble player with an extraordinary amount of game time experience ranging through the top 3 Italian divisions providing consistency all throughout, Now, still only 24 years old Strefezza is proving he has what it takes to be an important player in the Italian league, with a potential return to serie A around the corner, we may soon be seeing a lot more of Gabriel Strefezza, remember the name.