Milan full-back Ignazio Abate is determined to earn his place in the Italy squad. “I don't have as much quality, so always have to go 100kph.”
The 24-year-old started his career as a winger and was transformed into a full-back with the Rossoneri, but is yet to earn a call-up from Cesare Prandelli.
“I am a lad who has to give 100 per cent at all times to improve, because perhaps I don't have as much quality as Alessandro Nesta or Thiago Silva, so I always have to go 100kph,” he told Sky Sport.
“I have ambitious targets with this team and haven't won nearly as much as my Milan teammates, so I and the other youngsters in the side have 3,000 more reasons to seek trophies, including the Champions League.
“There are many great full-backs who are doing well at club level and therefore the Italy squad. I just need to keep working and make it difficult for the Coach to drop me every Sunday.”
Abate has had a remarkable career progression considering he has only recently become a full-back.
“This position means you need to be concentrated for all 90 minutes and see many things from another angle.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!