Ignazio Abate explained the injury that saw him stretchered off against Bulgaria, but wants to stay with the Italy squad.
“The doctors were quite pessimistic,” admitted the Milan full-back after the 1-0 win. Straight after the game, Cesare Prandelli called in Fiorentina’s Manuel Pasqual and Sampdoria’s Lorenzo De Silvestri.
“I felt a sort of pinch in my thigh and I tried to keep going, but as soon as I changed gear the pain got worse, so I asked for a substitution.”
He won’t recover in time for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in Turin, but Abate hopes he won’t be sent home yet.
“It’s only normal I want to stay with my teammates, as we can celebrate qualification. We played a crucial game tonight to take an important step forward. Now I’ll talk to Cesare Prandelli about the next match.
“Bulgaria moved very solidly in defence, so it was tough to find a way through. After taking the lead we made more of our midfield quality and we played well, apart from the last 20 minutes when we went too deep.
“I think the team has character and temperament, so you could see tonight we wanted to get the three points.
“As soon as Leo Bonucci had the ball I tried to push up, but Todor Nedelev was man-marking me. We struggled to find space down the flanks, but the Coach had warned us about that and rotating the midfield three helped create more room.”