Reborn Gilardino ready to fire for Fiorentina

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Where better to begin a renaissance than Florence and where better to cock a snoop at your old employers than scoring in the Champions League.

Welcome back Alberto Gilardino, previously second fiddle at AC Milan but now set to hit the high notes at Fiorentina.

OK, he only scored against a pretty ordinary and dull Slavia Prague side but what the heck, it’s been an age since we have witnessed those trademark violin-mining playing celebrations.

Feeling the love at Fiorentina 

So low was Gila’s confidence at Milan that even when he did actually score he could hardly raise a finger in celebration especially with all the booing that accommodated his every touch.

To add insult to injury, for the last two seasons he also had Filippo Inzaghi falling over himself at every turn but still managing to somehow put the ball in the net.

Freed from the sight of Superpipo’s quivering upper lip and manic goal celebrations, the boy from Biella is back amongst friends from those carefree days at Parma: mentor Cesare Prandelli and old strike-partner Adrian Mutu.

And didn’t he enjoy himself in his first competitive outing on what was a sweltering Florentine evening in front of a healthy 32,000 plus crowd at the Artemio Franchi stadium.

A willingness to show for the ball, lead the line in his favoured lone striker role and of course, a trademark close-range finish all made for a virtuoso performance.

To top things off, Marcello Lippi was in the stands so don’t be surprised if a recall to the Italy squad for the friendly Austria next week follows.

Possibly if the World Cup-winning coach had taken over at the Rossoneri things would have been different for the 26-year-old.

Milan the club and Milan the city were a disaster: from world champion to bench-warmer and by all accounts social pariah.

Feeling the heat at Milan 

According to whispers, Carlo Ancelotti had not spoken to him for three months while the club had taken a dim view of reported paparazzi photos doing the rounds of the player getting up to some other type of fiddling on a yacht.

Anyway, that’s all firmly in the past, and just as the fall from grace was swift and brutal so the rebirth could be sweet music to our ears.