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Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Gloria Marinelli 2023/24: How the underrated attacker can find her best form and upgrade Milan Women’s attack – scout report

Gloria Marinelli is an Italian player who can be considered underrated and not getting her full chance at the moment. She was not getting the required playing time to shine during her last period at Inter, and she has recently moved to their rivals Milan Women in an attempt to get some more regular playing time with the Rossonere and be among the most reliable players in the team.

Marinelli has the ability to get some chances with the Italian national team soon, especially if she puts on consistently good performances with Milan this season. Given that she is 25 years old now, Marinelli still has plenty of time to prove her worth and get a spot in Italy’s squad for the upcoming tournaments, knowing that she was already called up once for the Euro 2022 qualifiers.

Marinelli started her footballing career at Grifo Perugia in 2012 and then played for Chieti and Inter; now the time has come for her to showcase her talent in a different environment that might need her more than Inter did and might exploit her abilities more fruitfully for both sides as well.

In this tactical analysis and scout report, our focus will be on identifying Marinelli’s possible positions at Milan and the roles she can execute well to fit in perfectly within the club and their tactics. The analysis will also include glimpses of what the Italian player can do in terms of performances in Serie A Women, and this will mainly concern goalscoring and playmaking abilities.

Positions and roles at Milan

Regarding positions, Marinelli proposes many options to Milan and can be exploited in different roles within the team. The position in which she can provide 100% and more of her abilities is the left-winger, given that she is used to this position and also because her pace, physical abilities, and dribbling skills allow her to be more impactful here. Moreover, Marinelli’s left-winger role can significantly help the team since her crosses from that wing can always create danger.

Plus, she is very good at cutting inside and avoiding defenders who encounter her before going for a shot or providing a key pass. With Valentina Cernoia on the right wing, one of Christy Grimshaw, Kosovare Asllani, or Kamila Dubcová as an advanced playmaker, Marinelli can add a lot of depth to such attack when played as a left winger.

At the same time, she played as a striker, a right-winger, and a left midfielder before and can fill the gap in these positions whenever needed. Marinelli fits the second striker role perfectly if the coaching staff rely on a 3-5-2 formation, for instance.

However, the only concern is that Marinelli has no advantage over experienced players like Asllani for playing in those positions (second striker or advanced playmaker). That’s why she will likely be used mainly as a left-winger. And in the cases where Maurizio Ganz wants to rest Andrea Stašková, trying Marinelli as the main striker wouldn’t be a bad decision to make since the player is used to that position as well.

This heatmap highlights Marinelli’s movements on both wings and shows that she has experience playing on the left and the right, along with getting inside the box so often (mainly when used as a striker). Playing Marinelli as a striker would be a creative idea, especially when playing against tall but slow defenders; this is something that could suit Marinelli’s strengths.

Her pace and dribbling techniques would be crucial in such cases since these would tire this type of defender, as opposed to tall strikers like Stašková and Rimantė Jonušaitė, who can be helpful in the air and physical duels mainly. 

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Goalscoring and addition as a striker and as a left-winger

Marinelli proved on numerous occasions that she can interpret the striker and especially the second striker position efficiently since she has the pace and physical abilities needed to win in duels and score goals. Her excellent sense of positioning will also be helpful in this regard since playing inside the penalty box requires intelligence in movements and efficiency in terms of finishing.

Marinelli has the tricks needed to get rid of marking whenever she positions herself inside the box. She times her movements well to avoid defenders and get the ball in a suitable position and situation.

In this example, she created a free space for herself as soon as she saw the ball going to her teammate on the right side. She made the defender think she was running towards one spot but then switched her direction at a crucial moment to liberate herself from marking and receive the ball a few seconds later. 

Although the defender wasn’t attentive enough in this action, such intelligent “striker movements” highlight Marinelli’s capability to play inside the penalty box and score many goals per season, too.

The only concern for using Marinelli as a striker or as a second striker would be to know how to utilise Marinelli without ignoring key players like Stašková or Asllani.

Providing the necessary playing time to each key player while guaranteeing the team’s balance and attacking depth would be one of Ganz’s challenges this season.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Marinelli can also be helpful in headers as she has been put in situations requiring good headers techniques and was able to prove her abilities in this regard by scoring some goals excellently using her headers.

Marinelli is also an agile player who can jump high and in a quick way to beat defenders. Although some defenders might have an advantage over her thanks to their heights, Marinelli can still be useful regarding headers, especially when she moves to meet the ball, as she did in the following example. 

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Even when she plays on the left wing, Marinelli usually joins the penalty box when she notices goalscoring opportunities and before the execution of crosses. In this action against Napoli, she started her run from the left wing until she reached the centre of the box, where she positioned herself in front of her markers to receive the ball in a suitable situation and score.

This tendency to move toward the box so often, alongside the player’s excellent sense of positioning and finishing accuracy, would help Milan a lot in being more dangerous than last season.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Some excellent shooting skills characterise Marinelli, and she can often finish actions with ease as she has confidence and mastery of her own “tools”. She is very good at shots from a distance, especially when cutting inside from the left wing. 

But at the same time, and in addition to curled shots from the wing, Marinelli can also be crucial when getting the opportunity to execute volleys and half-volleys, as she has already shown that she can score this type of goal without problems. She scored an unbelievable volley against Costa Rica during the U17 Women’s World Cup. We have chosen this specific example despite being a little too old to show how accurate Marinelli can be in finishing.

This was one of her most complicated finishes, mainly because the ball got very high before reaching Marinelli, who coordinated her body perfectly and hit the ball towards the upper left corner without hesitation and with extreme accuracy. Marinelli scored this goal at 17, showing how valuable this player can be inside the box after many years of experience.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Image credit: Rai Sport

Going for lobs is also an alternative that Marinelli opts for when in complicated situations like the one shown below. It takes a lot of courage, experience, confidence, and technique to go for such types of shots and succeed in scoring them.

Marinelli has proved that she not only can position herself well inside the box but can also finish actions the way strikers do and using a plethora of shooting types suiting each situation, which makes Marinelli a perfect option for playing as a striker or as a second striker so often at Milan.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

At the same time, playing as a left-winger would not reduce the player’s efficiency either since she can still create a lot of danger from the left wing and can be extremely dangerous with her penetrations, crosses, and shots from distance. This example highlights Marinelli’s shooting-from-distance ability and showcases the constant danger she can create when cutting inside from that wing, even when various players are marking her and not really allowed to shoot.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Image credit: FIGC Serie A Femminile

Playmaking as a left-winger

Regarding playmaking, Marinelli can undoubtedly become a weapon for Milan on the left side since playing as a striker wouldn’t allow Marinelli to be at her best in terms of passing and crossing. However, playing as a left winger would give Marinelli the freedom to cross so often and be fundamental in the team’s attacking build-up, especially inside the final third. Marinelli’s passing accuracy equals 67.5% in general, yet this doesn’t fully reflect Marinelli’s passing importance.

The player’s vision and passing accuracy are perfect and can benefit Milan if oriented smartly and fruitfully. What is even more impressive with Marinelli is that she can cross well using both feet, and this goal action against Verona highlights the player’s ability to cross using her left foot, providing an assist to her teammate on the far post.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Moreover, cutting inside can always be a dangerous solution for Milan’s opponents since Marinelli has a lot of dynamism and agility. But most of all, Inter’s ex-winger has the vision to provide passes between opponents and imagine her teammates’ predicted movements.

In the following picture, she could predict her teammate’s movement and gave her a through pass in the imagined direction despite having four players who could intercept the pass.

Yet, Marinelli’s passing accuracy allows her always to pass the ball through defenders even when the situation seems a little bit too complicated for passing.

Working on this aspect even more at Milan and using Marinelli’s passing well while coaching the rest of the attacking players on what they need to do in collaboration with Marinelli and how they will need to move when Marinelli has the ball would make the player’s integration not only successful but also fruitful for the whole team’s attacking performances.

Gloria Marinelli at Milan Women 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics


Having the advantage of playing and excelling in Serie A for so many years and living in Milano for an extended period can only help Marinelli integrate the team quickly and put on some convincing and impactful performances right from the beginning. That’s precisely what she did in her first friendly match with the team against Parma, and she is expected to shine even further in the upcoming games if given adequate playing time.