Raspadori's advice: 'enjoying yourself on the pitch is the best way to regain enthusiasm'Jack is aiming for a place in the starting line-up for the match against England: "I am more of an attacker than a finisher, playing in the centre means I can be closer to the goal".
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Can a 22-year-old already be a regular at Coverciano? Yes, if he has the obvious talent of Giacomo Raspadori, a player who is used to breaking new ground and, at his young age, has already won a European title. he has thirteen appearances and three goals in the national team, was surprisingly called up by Mancini for EURO 2020, and has become big, as witnessed by the 35 million euro investment in the summer by Napoli to bring him into Luciano Spalletti's side: 'To young people" - his words in the press conference - "I urge you not to put limits on yourself and to believe in your dreams."
And speaking of dreams: "Every child's dream is to get to play in the World Cup, it will be difficult not to be there. We have to start again and the best way to regain enthusiasm is to enjoy yourself out on the pitch. Working is the only way I know to achieve greatness again'. In the meantime, the first objective is to beat England and Hungary, trying to reach the Nations League Final Four for the second year in a row: "There is no panic, but just a desire to do well. They are two important matches that come at a time when there are so many games. We have to get there at our best, especially from the physical point of view, and put in two good performances."
The match against England evokes the sweet memory of triumph at Wembley, an unforgettable European Championship win that Raspadori did not think he would experience as a star player: "It was a great opportunity. I was lucky enough to be part of a special group, where I immediately felt an integral part. And in my own small way I think I did something important. Versatility is one of Raspadori's best qualities, and Mancini also emphasised yesterday that he can use him in several roles. But what is his preferred position on the pitch?: 'I express myself best in the central area,' he explains, 'in this position I can stay closer to the goal. I am more of an attacker than a finisher and I can also be an outside player on the left or right. Having another striker at my side is probably better.'
After the success after the match against AC Milan, he arrived at Coverciano in the company of four other teammates (Meret, Di Lorenzo, Zerbin and Politano, the latter forced to pull out and has already returned home), reflecting the excellent start to the season of a Napoli side first in the league table and with maximum points in the Champions League group stage. He has already made a valuable contribution, grabbing the goal in the final minutes of the match against Spezia and scoring his first goal in the Champions League against Rangers: "I am very happy, I was looking for something bigger for my future. I'm getting on very well at Napoli, I've joined a family with good people and I thank coach Spalletti and the club for wanting me. From Napoli, I would bring the courage to take risks, to play forward and to be carefree in tackling the game to the national team'. And in the list of thanks there is also space for the club that helped launch his career: 'I was lucky enough to grow up at a club like Sassuolo, which gave me the chance to make mistakes. Being able to make mistakes is fundamental for a young player and has given me more self-confidence'.
The Squad List
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Empoli);
Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Inter), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Emerson Palmieri (West Ham), Federico Gatti (Juventus), Luiz Felipe (Betis Sevilla), Pasquale Mazzocchi (Salernitana), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta);
Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Salvatore Esposito (Spal), Davide Frattesi (Sassuolo), Jorginho (Chelsea), Tommaso Pobega (AC Milan), Sandro Tonali (AC Milan);
Attackers: Matteo Cancellieri (Lazio), Manolo Gabbiadini (Sampdoria), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham), Alessio Zerbin (Napoli).