Elia's football journey started in a small town called Udine.
Elia Di Guiliomaria is one of the two Italian players who this year participated in the Garuda Select Program. Another Italian player is Lorenzo. The arrival of non-Indonesian players aims to broaden the knowledge of Indonesian players about the world of European professional football and also accustom them to mingle with those from different cultures.
Elia's football journey started in a small town called Udine. At the age of 5, he entered the Ancona academy, located near his home. Not long there, he moved to Inverigo, which is part of the Como Province. Then he entered the Xenia academy team for a year and a half. Elia studied at the Inter Academy from 2014 to 2018, before finally being loaned to Renate until December 2019.
In January 2020, Elia moved to Como. He actually had the opportunity to be included in the Como squad when they hosted Garuda Select last season. But injuries he had at that time prevented him to play against #GarudaSelect. He suffered an injury to the iliopsoas, the right muscle that wraps around the lower spine and kept him out for three months. But one season later, he was selected to join the Garuda Select program. “That morning, I just came out of my room and was getting ready to go to school. I received a call from the manager of Como FC who told me that Lorenzo and I were selected to enter the Garuda Select Program,” Elia said.
The language barrier was certainly one of the challenges that Elia had to face. However, he admitted that this did not last long. "This only happens during the first weeks. As time goes by, we have understood each other. I am very happy and happy. Moreover, other players welcome me. They are good friends with lots of smiles, very sympathy, and friendly," explained Elia.
Even though he comes from a country with a fairly strong football development, Elia still opens himself up to new things he has encountered in England. "Here we practice more with a small group, play within the boundaries and practice how to control the ball. My favourite position is in midfield because I have good vision and know how to get the ball from one point to another. I also tend to be aggressive and like to chase the ball, " added Elijah.
He admitted that he has experienced many significant changes during his almost one month with Garuda Select. He also hopes to continue to improve his abilities. "I want to improve myself in terms of game technique and physique. During the first month, I saw the changes and was very happy with the results. When I return to Como FC in the spring, I want to train and get into Como's first team."
Elia’s presence is recognized as adding quality to the team, as seen in the inaugural match of the third batch of Garuda Select against Port Vale U18. His colleagues felt he would be very helpful in game. “Having him here is very helpful because there is more force to attack. He has high enthusiasm, both during training and competing,” said Noval Junior.
Meanwhile, according to Edgar Amping, Elia's presence added alternative to the Garuda Select attack line. "He's always been maximal in training. So, all of us can learn many things from him. Certainly, Elia really helps the team because he is indeed a good player,” added the team captain.