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Sport Water Polo
NOC Italy   
Born19 Apr 1986 in Finale Ligure, ITA
Height1.92 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Armed Forces Athlete, Business Owner, Coach
English, Italian
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began playing water polo in Loano, Italy.
Why this sport?
He played football when he was younger but, because of work commitments, his parents could not take him to training sessions. Two boys at his school played water polo in Loano, Italy, so he went along to try the sport and continued playing from there.
Club / Team
Pro Recco [ITA] / Centro Sportivo Esercito [ITA]:
Name of coach
Sandro Sukno [Pro Recco], CRO; Alessandro Campagna [national], ITA
Preferred position / style / stance / technique
Centre forward
General Interest
Big Matt (ivg.it, 14 Aug 2012)
Most influential person in career
Coach Alessandro Campagna. (ilfaroonline.it, 25 Nov 2017)
In September 2020 he underwent surgery on his left shoulder to treat a ligament injury that he had aggravated during a training camp with the national team. He returned to competition in January 2021. (Instagram profile, 20 Jan 2021, 02 Dec 2020; ivg.it, 16 Sep 2020)

He sustained a back injury during the 2017/18 season that saw him miss a national team training camp and club matches for Pro Recco in Italy. (wpdworld.com, 24 Jan 2018)

He suffered a broken nose in Italy's first match at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and wore a protective face mask for the rest of the competition. (ONS, 08 Aug 2016)

In early 2015 he was troubled by a groin injury. (mondonuoto.it, 17 Feb 2015)

He injured his right wrist in May 2012 but recovered in time to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (ivg.it, 29 Jul 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I don't give up. I have never been a talented player, but I have always made up for it with tenacity." (svsport.it, 21 Feb 2021)
Awards and honours
In 2012 he received the Gold Collar of Sporting Merit from the Italian National Olympic Committee [CONI]. (sicilia.coni.it, 17 Apr 2012)
Other information
In February 2021 he joined the Italian military corps as an armed forces athlete. "I have always worn the colours of my country on my chest. In international matches, during the anthem, I have always felt a shiver down my spine that reminds me that what I do, I do for someone besides myself or a group of 13 players. Now I am lucky enough to be part of the body that represents our country by definition. I am truly honoured." (svsport.it, 21 Feb 2021)

In 2019 he co-founded the Elite Water Polo Camp in Italy with national teammate Stefano Luongo. The camp offers children the chance to train with elite water polo players. (elitewaterpolocamp.com, 25 Nov 2019)

In 2021 he was named member of the board of the Doria Nuoto Loano club in Italy. (Instagram profile, 15 Nov 2021; ivg.it, 13 Nov 2021)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
7 2021 Tokyo, JPN Team  
3 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA Team  
2 2012 London, ENG Team  
World Championship
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2019 Gwangju, KOR Team  
6 2017 Budapest, HUN Team  
4 2015 Kazan, RUS Team  
4 2013 Barcelona, ESP Team  
1 2011 Shanghai, CHN Team  
11 2009 Rome, ITA Team  
European Championship
Rank Year Venue Event Result
6 2020 Budapest, HUN Team  
6 2016 Belgrade, SRB Team  
3 2014 Budapest, HUN Team  
4 2012 Eindhoven, NED Team  
2 2010 Zagreb, CRO Team