Paulo Bruno Exequiel Dybala (born 15 November 1993) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Juventus and the Argentina national team.
Nicknamed La Joya or El pibe de la pensión, Dybala made his professional debut in the Primera B Nacional (Argentine second division) with his hometown club Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba, when he was 17 years old. In total he played 40 games with the club, scoring 17 goals. He was the youngest to score a goal beating the record of Mario Kempes, Dybala was also the first to play 38 consecutive games in a professional league in the country by beating again Kempes, and he was also the first to score two hat-tricks in a season and has scored in six consecutive games, surpassing the previous record of four games.
On 29 April 2012, U.S. Città di Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini announced the signing of Dybala stating “We have got Paulo Dybala – the new Sergio Agüero”. Later the same day however, Instituto’s general secretary José Teaux, stated that the man who had completed the negotiations with Palermo, did not have the mandate to sell him.
On 20 July 2012, Palermo released a press announcement confirming the signing of Dybala, who signed a four-year deal with the Sicilian club. He made his debut for the club in a Serie A match against Lazio. Dybala scored his first and second goal in Italy on 11 November 2012 when Palermo defeated Sampdoria at home by 2–0.
Dybala had his breakthrough season in the 2014–15 Serie A where he scored 10 goals in the first half of the season, forming a successful striking partnership with fellow Argentine-Italian Franco Vázquez and being linked with several top European clubs. He finished the season with 13 goals and 10 assists, as one of the top assist providers in the league.
On 4 June 2015, Juventus announced the signing of Dybala on a five-year deal for a fee of €32 million (plus €8 million in add-ons). He was assigned the number 21 shirt, which was previously worn by Andrea Pirlo, who left the club that summer.
Due to his family heritage Dybala was eligible to play for Poland and Italy, but expressly stated that he feels Argentine and had always dreamed of playing for Argentina. Despite having sealed his decision of representing Argentina’s colours, Dybala maintains that he feels a strong connection to his grandfather’s country of origin, referring to it as “my family’s blood”.
Dybala was called by the Argentina Under-17 to participate in the XVI Pan American Games, but in the end he did not take part in the competition. On 19 July 2012 he received his first call-up for the Argentina Under-20 team, but declined the invitation.
On 22 September 2015 he was called for the first time for the Argentina senior team by manager Gerardo Martino, but his first appearance was on 13 October 2015, coming from the bench replacing Carlos Tevez in the 75th minute during a World Cup Qualifier 2018 match against Paraguay.