Alberto Gilardino admits it was “a special night” to score for Italy at his ‘home’ stadium against San Marino.
“It was a special night for me and Alino Diamanti to play with the Azzurri jersey in our stadium. It was an emotional way to end a tough season where we fought hard and earned our safety,” said the Bologna striker after a 4-0 friendly win.
“I have always worked hard to give my all when called upon, score goals and give a positive contribution to the team.
“I am in fine form and still feel young, so I have much to give in this shirt.”
Gilardino was asked whether it was possible to rob Mario Balotelli of the first team shirt.
“Mario is an important player for the Nazionale, but I want to be important too. The more talent we have at our disposal, the better.
“I had the opportunity of getting to know him a bit better on international duty and can only speak well of Mario. He’s a generous, good person who at times is used and misrepresented in the media.”
Asked about his future, Gila admitted it was somewhat up in the air.
“I have had an important campaign here at Bologna and am focused on this shirt. For the future, my agent is talking to the club, as I am on loan from Genoa, so many things will be evaluated over the next few weeks.
“I haven’t heard from my agent for three weeks, as I am focused entirely on Italy and doing well for my country, but I have already said that I’d like to stay at Bologna. It’s not up to me.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.