Gatti, Scalvini, Cancellieri and Esposito: the young Italy thanks Mancini

In Coverciano “singing” baptism and in a conference for four young players on which the coach is betting. And they reciprocate with gratitude and enthusiasm

by our correspondent Andrea Elefante

The new one advancing in Coverciano not only has the face of Wilfried Gnonto, who is sitting in the audience listening to his companions because – God forbid – he still feels like one of them, even if he was the first to be catapulted by Mancini in a different reality. One of those who can only say thank you to the coach, and there is not one among Federico Gatti, Giorgio Scalvini, Matteo Cancellieri and Salvatore Esposito who does not, because the coach has uncovered a world and opened a new path. The old one, however, still presupposes the “singing baptism” to which debutants must undergo, when they enter Coverciano for the first time through the main door. So Gatti and Cancellieri sang “Me so ‘mbriacato” by Alessandro Mannarino, Scalvini with his friend Gnonto performed with “Musica lightissima” (“Esibizione pessima”), Esposito chose “‘ O surdato ‘nnammurato”, together with Frattesi. Definitely in love with the blue shirt, all four of them.

Shock Cats

Federico Gatti speaks of the call-up “almost shocking, for my family and for me too, at least in the first few days. But then you just have to experience certain things and when you go out on the pitch you don’t think about it anymore”. Surely the past helps him, an adolescence that he did not spend in cotton wool: “It gives me strength in times of difficulty: I worked in general markets, I worked as a window maker, a bricklayer. With football it went better”. And speaking of shocks, he has already had to absorb the “shock” of the Juventus shirt that awaits him: “I already understood that it will be a huge thing. I’m sorry I could only meet Chiellini here, I could have taken so much from him: I’ll do it with Bonucci and De Ligt “. Even knowing that I am getting closer to Chiellini, in terms of characteristics: “I like the physical duel, but the pitch will speak. In the meantime, these weeks of work have helped me to taste Serie A. Here there are more quality, intensity, speed, attention to detail. And to train with people who have international experience, you learn every day “.

Scalvini double role

What Giorgio Scalvini has already done this year in Atalanta, especially since Gian Piero Gasperini has almost made him a starter, not just a member of the first team. Thus, he arrived in Coverciano with a wealth of experience cultivated in 18 Serie A matches (plus two in the Europa League and one in the Italian Cup), half played as a starter: “Having this continuity was important, very formative. In Bergamo the idea that they put in your head from an early age is to take responsibility, but the transition from the Primavera to the first team is great, and above all very formative: it helped me to understand the levels that I then found here “. Where he also found Mancini, “and having a coach like this is an opportunity: I was struck by the fact that in every training he has always involved us also from a tactical point of view. That he told us that we are defenders of the future, but we can be also of the present “. Yes: but defender or midfielder? Gasperini is very tempted to investigate the second option, but the coach also saw certain characteristics in Scalvini: “In fact, even seeing the data on how I run, he thinks I can do it. I think so too, also because as a child I played in both roles: maybe I’m more of a defender, but I also like to stay ahead, in all positions in the midfield. ” As a child Scalvini began to meet Gnonto: “He in Inter, I in Atalanta, we have known each other since we are ten and we have played together in the national team since we are 15”. And today they are studying for the same goal, high school leaving certificate, both at the sports science high school: “Just this morning I prepared a power point for the exam and Wilfried did a video lesson”.

Enthusiasm Chancellors

Like Gnonto, Matteo Cancellieri is the only other emerging youngster to have already made his debut: 5 ‘in Bologna, against Germany: “It all seemed a bit surreal to me, an absurd emotion”. He could reply in one of the next two matches, against England (Saturday) or Germany (Tuesday) “but I don’t have expectations, it would be madness to think I have certainties in this national team. But Mancini knows he would find me ready”. His confidence is to see and listen to Daniele De Rossi every day, “whom in my eleven years in Rome I have always taken as a point of reference: a very present captain and he is also here, now”. When he was a young ball boy, Cancellieri also happened to be pushed by Facundo Ferreyra, during the Rome-Shakhtar Donetsk, Champions League round of 16: “But that’s just a memory: I carry him with me, but I prefer to talk about me for what I do on the pitch “. On the pitch with Verona we saw perhaps less than what was perhaps normal to expect: “But I came from the Primavera, I’m still happy with what I managed to do. plus an attacking winger: adapting was useful, now it’s clear that next year I hope to play more “.

He cannot complain about what Salvatore Esposito has played this year: 2479 ‘with Spal, more or less in the middle of the standings of the 32 blues left in Coverciano. Not bad for a boy who has not yet turned 22, the first of three brothers all already looking out for an important future, “even if the strongest is the youngest, Francesco Pio: that’s always the saying. I tried to say to my father to play two more, but he stopped … Certainly our luck was to have a pitch under the house, where we played from morning to night: it helped us a lot “. Luck was also “choosing not to play in the Primavera, but in Serie C: I felt this need and I learned what sacrifice is, putting yourself to the test. You learn values ​​that are more difficult to cultivate in the youth sectors, where perhaps the being too pampered takes away a little something from you. ” But luck is, above all, “having a coach like Mancini in Italy”. Who said of Esposito: “Of those who are here today, he is the only one, together with Cristante, to be a ‘natural’ interpreter of the role of play in front of the defense”. Esposito smiles: “I was lucky enough to see Jorginho in the early days: it was an opportunity to learn, but comparing myself to him or to Cristante is crazy: as characteristics I am perhaps more similar to the first, even if what I have always been inspired by. it’s De Rossi “. Whether Mancini’s thought, maybe throwing him on Saturday against England, is crazy or not, “the coach is certainly the only one who has set his sights on young people in this way: a message for a world where too few young people are still they play in A. It is not a right, but the most important thing is trust, the possibility of making mistakes, as Barella said. but we have to do well, to take advantage of the opportunities. Mancini, as coach Nicolato, help us with their appeals in favor of a greater use of young players, but we have to get help “. And speaking of Nicolato and Under 21, “they are still my team, so good luck for today’s match against Sweden. Our goal, which is more like a dream, is to bring Italy back. at the Olympics “.

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