Perseverance and Determination: The Federico Dimarco Story 

Federico Dimarco’s rise to prominence has not been a straightforward one. Five different clubs and countless loan spells later, the trailblazing leftback is now one of the best in his position – stealing the headlines both domestically and in Europe. Indeed, Dimarco embodies all the qualities that made Inter Milan so great on their fairy tale Champions League run last season. 


Humble, hardworking, and determined, the Inter Milan youth graduate spearheaded his side’s European push, playing a crucial role throughout. Today, Dimarco remains an integral piece in Simone Inzaghi’s setup and has the Nerazzurri faithful dreaming again. 



But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Inter Milan man. 


Early Days


Dimarco joined the Inter Milan youth academy in 2004 at the age of seven years old, slowly making his way up the ranks. The 26-year-old was initially loaned out to Serie B club Ascoli, where his talent quickly became evident – registering four assists in 15 appearances. 


His six-month loan spell earned him a move to newly-promoted Serie A side Empoli, where Dimarco continued to earn his stripes, this time in the upper echelon of Italian football. The Milan native went on to make a mere 12 appearances with Gli Azzurri suffering relegation. 


Dimarco was forced back to the drawing board with a disappointing season behind him, and made the move to Swiss club Sion for just under four million euros. His parent club, Inter Milan, nonetheless possessed a buyback option, which they later exercised in 2018. 



In hindsight, that might have been the best €7 million the Italian giants have spent in recent years. 


Return to Italian football 


Determined to make a name for himself, Dimarco returned to Serie A, joining Parma on loan in 2018. The young fullback used the 2018-2019 season to find his feet in Italy’s top flight, making 10 appearances. Ironically enough, his first-ever career goal came against his boyhood club Inter Milan at the San Siro. 


In typical Dimarco fashion, the wingback picked up possession just over half-field before firing a rocket past Samir Handanović. The goal confirmed what Inter Milan already knew. Make no mistake about it, the Italian giants had a budding star on their hands. Yet, it wasn’t until Dimarco joined Ivan Jurić at Hellas Verona that he took his game to the next level. 


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The 26-year-old took to the veteran’s 3-4-1-2 formation like a fish to water, forming a fearsome wing duo with Marco Faraoni. Given the freedom and trust to attack, Dimarco earned a reputation for himself as a high-flying wingback with a keen eye for goal. 


Juric did very well with him, but he was the one who did the rest,” said former Roma midfielder and current Verona mayor, Damiano Tomassi. “The San Siro loves him, he has a wand of a left foot. He’s a footballer of European calibre,” added Tomassi.  


Hellas Verona would eventually go on to make two respectable mid-table finishes with Dimarco in the lineup – their highest since returning to Italy’s top flight. Dimarco’s positive form did not go unnoticed back in Milan, returning to his boyhood club for the 2021-2022 season. 


In fact, then recently-appointed Simone Inzaghi played an instrumental role in bringing him back, deeming the wingback the perfect fit for his 3-5-2 system. Today, Dimarco is widely regarded as one of the best in his position, attracting interest from fellow European giants Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United. Dimarco, however, has no intentions of going anywhere, putting pen to paper on a contract renewal until 2027. 


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When asked if he can become a “Bandiera” (club icon) for Inter Milan, Dimarco had no doubts. “I hope so, it’s my dream. I’m delighted to have renewed my contract with the team in my heart. I’m so happy because the Club really wanted me to sign the extension, and I did too,” said Dimarco. 


Return to Inter Milan


Since returning to Inter Milan, the Italian international has gone from strength to strength, emerging as one of the side’s undisputed leaders in the locker room. After all, Dimarco is “one of their own”, breaking through the youth academy. The 26-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down this season, and has looked his typical imperious self down the left-hand side. 


Indeed, Dimarco once again stole the headlines this season with a goal-of-the-season contender against Frosinone, firing a screamer from the halfway line past a helpless Stefano Turati. “I saw the goalkeeper off his line and luckily it landed in the net. It’s one of the best I’ve scored,” added the 26-year-old. 


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Inter Milan has since extended their lead atop the Serie A table to nine points over Juventus with a game in hand, dispatching of the Bianconeri 1-0 earlier this month. In many ways, the Italian giants are primed for their first Scudetto since 2020-2021 – what would be a first for Dimarco. 


In fact, beyond his two Coppa Italias and Supercoppa Italiana titles, the former Hellas Verona man has often been the bridesmaid but never the bride. Just last season, Dimarco was excellent in Inter Milan’s run to the Champions League final, registering five assists, including one in their semifinal victory over fierce rivals Milan, before falling short in the final. 


As fate would have it, Dimarco had a gilt-edged opportunity to equalise just three minutes after Rodri’s opener. His header, however, would hit the crossbar before his follow-up was blocked by teammate Romelu Lukaku. In any case, as he has done throughout his entire career, Dimarco is focusing on the future and not the past. 


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What we did last season was extraordinary. It’s not often that we get to the end of a prestigious tournament like the Champions League. I think this term we have to start again from what we did in the last campaign. We must not fear anyone. These are football matches. These grand occasions are the reason we play football.


Inter Milan have exhibited Dimarco’s fearlessness this season, cruising through the group stages with 12 points. The Nerazzurri recently confirmed their contender status this past week, registering an all-important 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash. 


Once again, Di Marco played a crucial role in Inter Milan’s dominant display, connecting seamlessly with Nicolò Barella and the overlapping Alessandro Bastoni. The Italian giants, beyond wastefulness in front of goal, played a near-perfect game, limiting Diego Simeone’s men to zero shots on target. In many ways, Inter Milan laid down a marker for the rest of the competition to see, confirming their European pedigree. 


Dimarco and Inter Milan: A Match Made in Heaven


Simone Inzaghi’s men now have the benefit of focusing their efforts on the Champions League, after opening up a healthy lead over Juventus and Milan domestically. Returning to back-to-back Champions League finals will not be easy, but with Dimarco’s perseverance and determination – qualities he has displayed time and time again over his career – Inter Milan can dream again. 



With Inzaghi’s faith and the full support of the San Siro behind him, Federico Dimarco has finally found a place to call home. Surrounded by his own people, the 26-year-old can go out there and do what he does best. Fight for the badge and lead his Inter Milan side back to the pinnacle of European football. After all, Dimarco is here to stay. 


By: Gregory Caltabanis / @GCaltabanis

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Mattia Ozbot – Inter