Wilfried Gnonto Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts

Wilfried Gnonto Childhood Story Plus Untold Biography Facts

Our Wilfried Gnonto Biography tells you Facts about his Childhood Story, Early Life, Parents – Boris Noel Gnonto (Father), Chantal Gnonto (Mother), Family Background, Siblings – Brother, Sister, Girlfriend, etc.

This article on Gnonto also explains his African Origin, his Parents’ migration from the Ivory Coast to Italy, how he was raised in a Catholic Church compound, his Education, Religion, etc. More so, the Italian Athlete’s Personal Life, Lifestyle, Net Worth, Salary Breakdown, etc.

In a nutshell, this Biography breaks down the Full History of Wilfried Gnonto. We’ll give you the story of a footballer of Ivory Coast Origins who bewitched the Mancini’s Italian national team.

A boy raised in the Baveno oratory, who could have become a Reverend Father but chose to play football.

We’ll tell you the story of an Ivorian-Italian wonderkid from Baveno, a boy who once wanted to play football but couldn’t afford the right shoes.

Wilfried Gnonto was forced to play football barefoot, and he did that with a huge smile on his lips.


LifeBogger’s version of Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography begins by unveiling notable events of his boyhood days and early life.

Next, we’ll tell you how his family survived their early years in Italy. Finally, his church-centred football upbringing and how he achieved a rise in the beautiful game.

We hope to whet your taste for autobiographies as we engage you with reading Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography.

To begin right away, let’s show you this photo gallery that explains his early life and professional leap. Without a doubt, this Italian starlet, a long-time friend of Roberto Mancini, has indeed come a long way.

Wilfried Gnonto Biography - From his boyhood years to the moment he became famous.
Wilfried Gnonto Biography – From his boyhood years to the moment he became famous.

After the 2022 FIFA World Cup exclusion and the defeat against Argentina, Italy’s national team began a new cycle. Roberto Mancini’s gli Azzurri rejuvenation began with Wilfried Gnonto.

We talk about Baller, who has this special song to his name, all thanks to the abundant love from Italian fans. Have you watched the song dedicated to Willy?

We found a knowledge deficit in our quest to deliver you the Untold Life History of Italian Footballers. The truth is, not many fans have read an in-depth version of Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography, which is very exciting. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Wilfried Gnonto Childhood Story:

For Biography starters, he bears the nickname “Willy”. And his full names are Degnand Wilfried Gnonto. The Italian footballer was born on the 5th day of November 2003 to his Mother, Chantal Gnonto and Father, Boris Noel Gnonto, in Verbania, Italy.

Having searched about the existence of his siblings, it appears that Wilfried Gnonto is the only child of his parents. Now, let’s introduce you to Boris and Chantal. Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents have always been his rock. They are the best Mum and Dad he could ever ask for.

Introducing Wilfried Gnonto's Parents - His beautiful Mum, Chantal Gnonto and look-alike Dad, Boris Noel.
Introducing Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents – His beautiful Mum, Chantal Gnonto and look-alike Dad, Boris Noel.

Growing Up:

Chantal and Boris Noel (his parents) raised him in Baveno, a small town in Piedmont, on Lake Maggiore. It was in this smaller town that Gnonto fell in love with the beautiful game.

As a child, Wilfried was someone who knew how to make himself loved by everyone around him. While Growing up, his parents (Chantal and Boris) taught him childhood values and morals.

Young Gnonto was encouraged to explore his sporting interests, including learning new things. Chantal and Boris supported his hobby of reading, playing educational games, and of course, his favourite, which is football.

Wilfried Gnonto Early Life:

From the window of the room where his family lived, little Gnonto was fond of staring at the soccer field situated in a church compound.

Whenever he wanted, the youngster would go down and play football there. In no time, the game of soccer invaded the whole of his life.

The team Wilfried Gnonto began playing for at the age of five was organized by Massimo Zacchera, who is the patron of Baveno parish.

One day, Chantal and Boris agreed to seek permission from the Patron as to if their son could join the team of little boys who played on the field.

Wilfried Gnonto’s parents could no longer keep up with their son’s hunger for football.

The young prodigy was a bit small when he began mixing up with the boys, not even up to five years old. Gnonto was loved by everyone and was quick to settle with his new friends.

This was surely the right environment for Willy Gnonto to grow and thrive in the sport he loved.
This was surely the right environment for Willy Gnonto to grow and thrive in the sport he loved.

From the young age of five, the fledgling star had already become a natural leader.

Willy, who became the captain of the boys, was always smiling and available for his teammates. In terms of his gameplay, the son of Chantal and Boris was extremely fast.

Wilfried Gnonto Family Background:

Chantal, his Mum and Boris Noel (the Baller’s Dad) are Ivorian parents. They have both lived in Italy for more than 30 years. Now, let’s tell you the occupation of Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents. 

Boris started as a worker in an Italian textile factory. On the other hand, Wilfried Gnonto’s Mum was a waitress in a hotel for 21 years. Chantal worked for Massimo Zacchera, who is the owner of Zacchera Hotel located in Baveno, a town in Italy.

Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents’ emigration:

Similar to Yunus Musah, the journey to Italy began with his Dad, Boris Noel.

In other to escape poverty, Wilfried Gnonto’s Dad emigrated to Italy from the Ivory Coast in the 1990s. Upon reaching Italy, he found a home in the Catholic Church located in Baveno.

Like the parents of Inaki and Nico Williams, Wilfried Gnonto’s Dad got the support of the church. Boris Noel was given a job as a helper and caretaker of the Catholic Parish in Baveno.

Five years after Wilfried Gnonto’s Dad stayed in Italy, he sent for his wife, Chantal, to join him in the country. After a couple of years of Boris and Chantal living together, their son, whom football fans call Willy, arrived in the world.

Both of Wilfried Gnonto’s parents ended up living in that church apartment for the next 30 years.

For 21 years, the patron of Baveno, Massimo Zacchera, secured the services of Chantal to work in Baveno Calcio, his hotel. He owns chains of hotels situated on a lake.

Wilfried Gnonto Family Origin:

If you ask the Italian footballer about the place he calls home, he is likely to mention the name, Baveno.

As observed below, this is a northern Italian town situated in the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola. Where Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents raised him is 73 km from Milan.

Baveno is the place Chantal and Boris Noel call home. This town in Italy gave them refuge, and they successfully raised their son (Willy) there.
Baveno is the place Chantal and Boris Noel call home. This town in Italy gave them refuge, and they successfully raised their son (Willy) there.

Before emigrating to Italy, Wilfried Gnonto’s parents experienced much of Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s rein in Côte d’Ivoire.

The country of their origin (formerly Ivory Coast) is situated in West Africa and is fondly known as the home of the Chelsea Forwards, Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou.

The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire is the country of Wilfried Gnonto's African origins.
The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is the country of Wilfried Gnonto’s African origins.


Gnonto belongs and identifies with a demographic group known as the Ivorian-Italians. Put simply; this ethnic group includes persons who are Italian citizens but have Côte d’Ivoire ancestry.

Wilfried Gnonto Education:

Chantal and Boris Noel have always held the view that going to school will be an important ingredient for their son to have a successful life.

Even as Wilfried Gnonto dedicated himself to football seriously, he still attended the scientific sports school in Busto Arsizio.

The above-named school, which the Athlete attended, is about 35 kilometres north of Milan.

During his Education days at the Classical high institution, Wilfried Gnonto’s best subject was always Latin. That made his school friends nicknamed him “The Latinist of the goal”.

Wilfried Gnonto went through the Liceo classic (the oldest public secondary school type in Italy) before moving to Liceo scientifico.

The latter is a type of secondary education designed to help students with skills needed to progress in any university or higher institution.

Wilfried Gnonto Biography – Football Story:

In Baveno (in the town of Verbania), the Wonderkid began laying his career foundation on a synthetic grass pitch overlooking Lake Maggiore.

Willy got trained as a child in a splendid landscape bathed by the waters of the Lake, which is a popular spot for local and foreign tourists.

Gnonto's early footballing years in Baveno.
Gnonto’s early footballing years in Baveno.

The former coaches and all his teammates remember the impact Wilfried had in the team during his early days with the academy.

He was like a child from another planet, a force of nature at such a young age. Gnonto was at the centre of helping his team win trophies. 

The Phenom is pictured alongside his teammates celebrating a trophy.
The Phenom is pictured alongside his teammates celebrating a trophy.

The pride of his youth team was felt with more trophies in the cabinet. Willy, the golden boy behind the victories, was always the centre of attraction at the town’s square.

He was always the boy that every spectator (including parents of other kids) talked about.

Another trophy in the celebration from the Soccer Whiz kid from Baveno.
Another trophy in the celebration from the Soccer Whiz kid from Baveno.

The quest to progress further:

Moving on from the local club, Gnonto progressed by joining a more competitive academy. Mattia, who has been the president of Suno Calcio (the football academy) for more than twelve years, enrolled Wilfried on his team.

The club President, who leaves his job to work on Pro Vercelli, once confessed that he had trained hundreds of kids, but none was like Gnonto. While playing for Suno Calcio, young Willy played alongside Zerbin, who was his teammate.

Alessio Zerbin, born in 1999, was four years older than Gnonto. It is incredible for fans to see these two footballers becoming part of the Italian national team in 2022.

Both friends were included in Roberto Mancini’s final 30-player Azzurri squad for the 2022 Finalissima.

That Willy smile signified a victory over the challenges of his boyhood life.
That Willy smile signified a victory over the challenges of his boyhood life.

Wilfried Gnonto Biography – Road to Fame Story:

When the rising talent and his teammates go around to play tournaments, he ends up scoring lots of goals.

In a certain game in one of many Nerazzurri training centres, Willy’s team won 8-1, and he scored seven goals. The best part was that his performance always made crowds yell his nickname;

‘Willy, Willy!’ .

After a couple of victories in tournaments, a Nerazzurri scout immediately noticed Willy and made moves to get him to Inter.

This football observer met with Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents to approve their 9-year-old son’s transfer to Inter Milan (which happened in the summer of 2012).

With his new club, there came many sacrifices for his family in terms of football and school. Wilfried Gnonto’s Dad made lots of sacrifices. Back then, they would travel for a 120km round trip every day just to train with the Nerazzurri youth.

Because of the need to drive his son to train, Wilfried Gnonto’s Dad decided to take up the night shift at his textile factory workplace.

In situations where Boris had to work during the day, his wife, Chantal, would take up the responsibility of driving their son, Willy, to train.

In some cases, Inter Milan became helpful in providing a van to pick Gnonto up at the Meina motorway exit. The van would also pick him up from school to take him to match days or football training.

The gigantic leap:

Gnonto’s fast-emerging talent became noticeable during his years in the Inter’s Under 15 team.

During his time at that level, he scored 10 goals plus an additional 20 goals when he was catapulted into the Under 17. Behold the young Inter Milan goal-scoring machine.

From the onset, his speed and agility have been unmatched, and Willy has a natural ability to score great goals.
From the onset, his speed and agility have been unmatched, and Willy has a natural ability to score great goals.

With the Nerazzurri’s Under-17 team, Gnonto stood out among his peers. The Rising star of Italian football was instrumental in helping his team win the youth championship in 2019.

Gnonto’s youth career success was no accident but learning, hard work and perseverance.

The whole team came together, worked together, held each other up and then won this great trophy.
The whole team came together, worked together, held each other up and then won this great trophy.

Helping Inter Milan youth achieve this great feat earned the Gifted soccer player a call to the Italian Under-16 team.

As his goals kept coming for his club side, Gnonto got an uplift to his country’s under-17 side. In 2019, he was called to debut at the Under 17 FIFA World Cup.

Wilfried Gnonto Biography – Road to Fame:

The performance he put in at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup became a major turning point in the career of the Verbania native.

Wilfried Gnonto was only 15 in that tournament in which he scored a brace. In fact, Gnonto’s two goals were celebrated on Twitter by the almighty FIFA.

Being applauded by FIFA at the age of 15 was a great honour for Willy.
Being applauded by FIFA at the age of 15 was a great honour for Willy.

Wilfried Gnonto’s goals at the FIFA U-17 World Cup didn’t end there, as he scored against Mexico. His Azzurrini team reached the quarter-finals and got eliminated by Gabriel Veron‘s Brazilian team, who went on to win the tournament.

A year after participating in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Gnonto left Italy for Switzerland. In a bid to get the first team opportunity upon becoming a professional footballer, the move to Zürich was mandatory. By implication, he never became a senior player with Inter Milan.

Gnonto avoided competing against Inter’s first-team regular stars. We talk about the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martínez, Alexis Sánchez, and Ivan Perisic. These players were Antonio Conte‘s trusted forwards in his days as Inter Boss.

Life in Zurich, Switzerland:

“Leaving Inter Milan after eight seasons there’s difficult but in football, sometimes you have to make difficult decisions,”

In fact, joining the Swiss club, Zürich, at the tender age of 16 wasn’t an easy decision. The whole essence was to play as a starter for any given club. As a show of his professionalism, Gnonto immediately began taking German lessons privately so he could integrate faster.

For the youngster, playing in a club from another country was a privilege and honour. Willy tried to take advantage of all the opportunities by giving his best.

The Latinist of the goal, as they nickname him, stunned everyone by helping the club to win the 2021/2022 Swiss Super League trophy.

Because of his bravery in front of goal, Wilfried suddenly became an idol of the Zurich fans. Through fans’ praise, he got his second nicknamed “Superjolly”. It didn’t end there; the club’s fans dedicated the Swiss version of his special “Willy Gnonto Song”.

In fact, this video explains why Zurich fans love Gnonto.

Thanks to his heroics, Wilfried Gnonto got included in the Guardian’s 60 of the best young talents in world Football born in 2003. That list contains names like Jamaal Musiala, Florian Wirtz, Xavi Simmons, etc.

Leeds United:

Following the departure of Marcelo Bielsa and the arrival of the American coach, Jesse Marsch, the English club witnessed a new era. Major departures like Raphinha and Kavin Phillips saw instant replacements in the persons of Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Gnonto, etc.

The Ivorian-Italian has so far impressed the club and fans. Gnonto had a solid debut start in the Premier League, a game he assisted Crysencio Summerville in a win against almighty Liverpool.

As a perfect alternative to Jack Harrison, the youngster has fulfilled the early promise he made to fans upon joining The Old Peacock. The rest, as we say, is now history.

Who is Wilfried Gnonto’s Girlfriend?

With his impressive career story so far, it is fair to say that the Winger of Ivorian descent is destined to have a successful career.

Now, there is a saying that behind every successful Italian footballer comes a glamorous WAG. To this end, LifeBogger asks this question.

Who is Wilfried Gnonto dating?

An enquiry into the love life of the energetic Winger.
An enquiry into the love life of the energetic Winger.

At the time of writing Wilfried Gnonto’s Bio, he appears not to have a romantic relationship. Following the advice of his parents, the youngster appears to be focused on his Leeds and Italian career. Wilfried Gnonto’s dating life remains silent at this early stage of his senior career.

Personal Life:

Who is Wilfried Gnonto?

Not many football lovers know his tribal name is Degnand. This name has its origins in Côte d’Ivoire, the county of Wilfried Gnonto’s Parents. The Athlete prefers being called Willy rather than his first or traditional name, Degnand.

Gnonto idolized a Legendary footballer when he was a child. This idol is none other than Lionel Messi.

At the conclusion of the Finalissima 2022 match between Argentina and Italy, the Winger waited for Leo outside the locker room for an hour just to get his autograph.

Wilfried Gnonto Lifestyle:

Outside football, the Athlete lives a serene and calm life. It is important to note that Willy Gnonto is someone who loves to study.

When he joined Zürich, his parents had to bring all his books to his home. Willy Gnonto had enough to read outside during his leisure time. In the words of his Dad, Boris, on Rai Radio1;

The Lifestyle of Gnonto - Explained.
The Lifestyle of Gnonto – Explained.

“He asked me: ‘Dad, please bring all my books to me because I think I’ll stay in Zurich for a while'”.

Wilfried Gnonto Family Life:

The Verbania Athlete relies on his Dad and Mum for encouragement and emotional support.

In addition, Willy also turns to their family for practical assistance with some career matters. Now, let’s tell you more about them.

Boris and Chantel are pictured under the umbrella as the rain lashes down.
Boris and Chantel are pictured under the umbrella as the rain lashes down.

Wilfried Gnonto’s Mother:

As of 2023, Chantel is nearing her 26th year of stay in Italy. Before her son’s debut with the Azzurri, she had quit her hotel job. Credits must be given to Chantal for having raised a boy with so much humility (like Ngolo Kante).

Wilfried Gnonto’s Mum, together with his Dad, once lived in Zurich, where their precious Willy, their son, plays football.

So far as we can tell, Chantal is an education advocate. The effort of Wilfried Gnonto’s Mum has seen her son excel at his high school diploma. With her help, he could pass his German exam in Switzerland (all of which happened when he turned 18).

Wilfried Gnonto’s Father:

Boris no longer works in the textile factory as a night shift staff. Together with his wife, Chantal, he approved his son’s decision to leave classical high school.

This was because Willy couldn’t combine studying with training. Boris Noel Gnonto ensured his son’s books were always available for him to read.

The Athlete’s Dad works closely with Claudio Vigorelli (Gnonto’s agent) and Vigo Global Sports Services Srl.

This is the football agency that (as of 2023) manages players like Nicolò Zaniolo. Boris’ primary duty is to ensure the business aspects of his son’s career are well taken care of.

Wilfried Gnonto’s Siblings:

From what it seems, it appears he is the only child of his parents, Chantal and Boris. It could also be that information regarding Wilfried Gnonto’s brother or sister is kept private by the footballer and might not be relevant to the public image of his career.

Wilfried Gnonto’s Relatives:

One thing is sure, the fact that Willy has extended family members in Côte d’Ivoire, the country of his parents. Far away in the West African country, they form Gnonto’s support base.

One or a few of Gnonto’s relatives may likely play supportive roles by attending games, as well as providing him encouragement and motivation.

Untold Facts:

In the final phase of Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography, we’ll unveil more truths you might not know about him. Without further ado, let’s begin.

Wilfried Gnonto Salary:

The contract he signed with Leeds United sees him earning the sum of £468,720 annually. Breaking down Wilfried Gnonto’s earnings into smaller amounts, we have the following.

TENURE/EARNINGSWilfried Gnonto Leeds Salary Break down (in Euros).Wilfried Gnonto Leeds Salary Break down (in Pound Sterling).
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY YEAR:€412,770£468,720
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY MONTH:€34,397£39,060
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY WEEK:€7,925£9,000
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY DAY:€1,132£1,285
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY HOUR:€47£53
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY MINUTE:€0.7£0.9
What Wilfried Gnonto makes EVERY SECOND:€0.01£0.02

How rich is Gnonto?

In the African country his family comes from (Côte d’Ivoire), the above-average citizen earns 12,646 euros annually. Such a citizen would need 37 years to make Wilfried Gnonto’s annual salary with Leeds United. Now, here are the revelations about his earnings.

Since you started viewing Wilfried Gnonto‘s Bio, he earned this with Leeds United.


Wilfried Gnonto Profile (FIFA):

At the age of 18, the Italian could boast of a near-perfect movement attribute, one that is similar to youngsters like Anthony Elanga and Alejandro Garnacho.

More interestingly, Gnonto lacks only two things in football (below the 50 mark average) asides from defending. They are his Free Kick accuracy and Interception ratings of 46 and 25.

With these massive movement stats, he does pride himself as a Speed Demon.
With these massive movement stats, he does pride himself as a Speed Demon.

Wilfried Gnonto Religion:

The Italian Athlete was raised by his parents (Boris Noel and Chantal) as a devoted Catholic.

Wilfried Gnonto was raised in an oratory operated by parish priest Don Alfredo. Although his religion is Christianity, the Italian footballer hardly goes public about his faith.


This table breaks down our content on Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography.

Full Name:Degnand Wilfried Gnonto
Nickname:Willy, Superjolly
Date of Birth:5th day of November 2003
Place of Birth:Verbania, Italy
Age:19 years and 10 months
Parents:Boris Noel Gnonto (Dad), Chantal Gnonto (Mum)
Father's Occupation:Former Oratory caretaker and Textile factory worker
Mother's Occupation:Former Hotel worker
Nationality:Italian, Cote d'Ivoire
Religion:Christianity (Catholic)
Height:1.72 meters OR (5 ft 8 in)
Agent:Claudio Vigorelli
Annual Salary:€412,770 (Leeds 2022 stats)
Net Worth:1.5 million pounds
Youth academy:Baveno, Suno, Inter Milan
Education:Sports scientific school ( Busto Arsizio), Liceo classic. OR liceo classico and liceo scientifico


The Athlete’s nickname is Willy, a name derived from his first name Wilfried. Degnand, his traditional name, has its origin in Côte d’Ivoire, the country of Wilfried Gnonto’s parents. Willy arrived in the world on the 5th day of November 2003 to his Dad, Boros and Mum, Chantal.

Both of Gnonto’s parents have been living in Italy for the past two decades. His Mum is almost 26, and his Dad is almost in his 30-year stay. For many years, the couple lived in Baveno, where they were the caretakers of an oratory.

Boris and Chantal are thankful for parish priest Don Alfredo. He gave them an incredible hand to live in the oratory, and he welcomed them like children into his Catholic church. The catholic priest, Don Alfredo, gave them the house where we were custodians for years.

Similar to Sandro Tonali, the new blue promise from Baveno first kicked the soccer ball at the oratory. As a child, Willy Gonoto’s Idol was Lionel Messi. He learned the skills of the Albiceleste playmaker by watching several YouTube videos of him, and he also tried to emulate him.

Regarding his education, Willy Gnonto attended a liceo classico before proceeding to have secondary schooling at a liceo scientifico. The Italian footballer began his career with the academies – Baveno and Suno. At age nine, he was scouted by the Nerazzurri.

Career Endnote:

Wilfried Gnonto’s parents took turns travelling a 120-kilometre round trip almost every day to get him for training with the Nerazzurri shirt. At the age of 16, the young striker decided to go to play for Zürich in Switzerland, where he would become a starter for the club.

Gnonto achieved a meteoric rise in Switzerland as well as in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He became an idol of the Zurich fans, who gave him the nickname “Superjolly”. They also dedicated a song to him, the “Willy Gnonto Song”, which now has an Italian version.

As I conclude this Bio, Willy’s football goal is focused on helping his country qualify for the 2026 World Cup. The English team (Leeds United) clinched a £3.8m deal for Wilfried Gnonto, and the club is helping propel his dreams into reality.

Appreciation Note:

Thank you for taking out time to read LifeBogger’s version of Wilfried Gnonto’s Biography. We care about accuracy and fairness in our mission of delivering the stories of Athletes who play for the Italy national football team.

Gnonto’s Bio is part of our larger archive of European Football Stories. Please let us know via comment if you find anything that doesn’t in this article about the Ivorian-Italian wonderkid. Also, please tell us what you think about the Baveno baby who ignites Italy.

Aside from Wilfried Gnonto’s History, we’ve got other interesting Italian Football Stories. Surely, the Life History of Giacomo Raspadori and Sandro Tonali will excite you.

Hi there! I am Hale Hendrix, a passionate football enthusiast and writer dedicated to uncovering the untold stories of footballers' childhood and biography. With a deep love for the beautiful game, I have spent countless hours researching and interviewing players to bring to light the lesser-known details of their lives.


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