Sportiello: "I have to earn the No.1 jersey. We're working to gel as a team"

Sportiello: "I have to earn the No.1 jersey. We're working to gel as a team"

16/07/2017 18:04

Marco Sportiello held a press conference on Sunday afternoon, the day after Stefano Pioli confirmed the 25-year-old would be his first-choice goalkeeper for the coming campaign.

“Obviously it's great to hear the coach say something like that but I'll have to earn my place by grafting hard week in week out. I must improve my skills and work on my weaknesses.

“I don't feel like I'm first choice; I feel like a Fiorentina goalkeeper – no different from the others.”

Is Gigio Donnarumma really that good?

“I think he's demonstrated how good he is and deserves the show of confidence he's been given. I'm happy for him because he's a great lad.”

Do you hope to earn an Italy call-up yourself?

“Everyone would love to be part of the national-team set-up but I'm just focusing on myself and on becoming a better player at the moment. We all have our own path to follow. The boss has placed his faith in me and now it's up to me prove him right. We'll see how the season goes.”

How come things didn't work out with Paulo Sousa?

“It was a tough year but I think I learnt from it. You can get seasons like that; what matters is you never give up and are always ready to start again.”

How's the mood in the camp considering the atmosphere that's been created outside the club?

“What happens outside the club shouldn't concern us. We need to work hard on the pitch, do what the boss and the coaching staff want us to do and all pull in the same direction so that we can gel as a team.”

What's it like training with Alejandro Rosalen?

“His methods are a bit different because he's a Spanish coach but I quickly got used to his them. We do a lot of intensive work with him but focus on all the details too – working with your feet, for example, which is very important in the modern game.”

Which player has surprised you most on this training camp?

“I've been impressed by Marco Meli – not just for his technical ability but his whole attitude. It's rare to see a 17-year-old train the way he does and approach games as he does.”

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