Gianluca Prestianni Gross (Citadel, 31-1-2006) is predestined. Or so it seems. Almost a year ago, on May 24, 2022, it became the Youngest player (16 years, 3 months and 22 days) to debut for Vélez.
“I made my debut going to the round of 16 of the Libertadores against Estudiantes. ‘Cacique’ Medina’s assistant came and told me I had 15 minutes to do whatever I wanted. Being the youngest debutant in Vélez’s history is something huge for me because it’s the team that my ‘old man’ made me a fan of since I was born.”says ‘La Pulga’, as he is nicknamed for his height of 1.66.
Being the youngest debutant in Vélez’s history is something huge for me because it’s the team that my ‘old man’ made me a fan of since I was born
He didn’t play for three years because he was too young.
The phrase is literal. At just four months old, he already jumped into the fort in the arms of Lucas Castromán and at the age of 4 he joined the Vélez Academy. He was so young that he spent three years without playing, just training, until he was finally able to compete with boys his age. Now, since its debut, it has left its mark. “We won 2-0 with an encore from me.”
Prestianni continued up the steps and now, aged 17 years, 1 month and 19 days, became the second youngest player in Vélez history to score a goal in the First Division. Only surpassed by the hairy one, Maxi Romero, who saw the door, aged 17 years, 1 month and 5 days.
The young Vélez striker closed the victory against Central Córdoba (4-0) with a great goal. Lobato left him hand in hand with Ledesma after a great ride and ‘La Pulga’ defined with class to score his first goal as a professional: he sat the goalkeeper down with a ‘little piece’ typical of futsal and scored with an accurate shot to circumvent the defense that was waiting for him under the goalposts.
“I’m really excited about my first Primera goal,” recognized the scorer on Vélez’s ‘Twitter’ account. The first of many. And it is that Prestianni dreams big: “I want to win the Libertadores with Vélez, play in Europe, reach the national team and win a World Cup”affirm.
I want to win the Libertadores with Vélez, play in Europe, reach the national team and win a World Cup
His talent did not go unnoticed, of course, by Europe’s greats. Real Madrid and Barcelona have him on their respective agendas. Also Chelsea, Milan, Manchester United… His clause, worth around 12 million euros, makes him a very attractive player. Vélez, who is struggling to increase his clause, managed to retain him… so that he does not go to the South American sub 17 with Argentina. The recently returned Ricardo Gareca has preferred that he stay in order to finish and give him minutes with the main team.
This is how Gianluca Prestianni plays
Vélez’s number 42 team was first coached by his father, Juan. “We fought a lot, but that made me crazy about football and made me love the ball. Thanks to him, I managed to be champion seven years in a row”, he confesses.
Prestianni, right-handed, He defines himself as a “left winger” playing with an altered leg, although in reality can develop across the attacking front. “My strengths are speed and one-on-one confrontation,” admit.
My strengths are speed and one-on-one combat
Prestianni stands out for that ‘gambeta’ so common for paddock soccer players. He is an extremely skilled soccer player.especially over short distances. He loves to drive with the ball stuck in his foot, throw a bicycle, step on the ‘ball’ and has an outlet for both profiles. He protects the ball well and is not intimidated by rivals despite his height.
What is more, He has a good touch: he makes good crosses, tense and precise, when it’s your turn to play near the right wing.