Franco Zuculini (born 5 September 1990) is an Argentine footballer who plays for Serie B side Venezia as a defensive midfielder.
Born in La Rioja, Zuculini made his professional debut with Racing Club de Avellaneda on 13 April 2008 at not yet 18, starting in a 1-0 home win against Arsenal de Sarand for the Primera Divisin championship.
He appeared in 29 league matches and scored two goals in his first full season, helping his team narrowly avoid relegation.
On 26 June 2009, Zuculini signed with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany. He appeared in only seven Bundesliga games during his short spell, scoring on 24 October in a 3-0 home win against 1. FC Nrnberg after coming on as a second half substitute.
Subsequently, Zuculini began a series of loans which saw him appear for Genoa C.F.C. in Italy, former club Racing and Spain’s Real Zaragoza.
On 12 August 2011, Zaragoza announced the signing of Zuculini on a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent transfer later in the year. He made his La Liga debut 16 days later, starting and featuring 52 minutes in a 0-6 home loss to Real Madrid.
Zuculini agreed to a three-year deal with the Aragonese in the subsequent off-season, He netted his first goal (two in all competitions) for the side on 10 December 2012 in a 2-0 success at Rayo Vallecano, being released at the end of the campaign after it ended in relegation.
Arsenal de Sarand
In February 2013, Zuculini suffered a knee ligament injury that ended his season. While recovering from the operation, Arsenal de Sarand allowed him to get into exercise programs and train along with the team players; in January 2014, after a nearly one-year period of inactivity, he signed for six months with the club.
Return to Italy
On 8 July 2014, Zuculini joined Italian side Bologna F.C. 1909 on a two-year contract. He scored three times from 28 appearances in his first season, helping to promotion to Serie A.
Exactly two years after arriving at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Zuculini returned to the Serie B when he signed for Hellas Verona F.C. as a free agent on a reported one-year contract, with an option for another year. On 12 July 2017, he agreed to a new two-year deal.
Zuculini returned to his homeland after four years on 27 July 2018, joining Club Atltico Coln for free.
On 25 July 2019, Zuculini signed to Serie B club Venezia a 1-year contract with an option for a second one.
In January 2009, Zuculini was selected for the Argentina under-20 team for the 2009 South American Youth Championship in Venezuela. He was named by full side manager Diego Maradona in a squad of 14 local players in late May of that year, and made his debut on the 20th – aged just 18 – in a friendly with Panama (3-1 win in Santa Fe).