Pablo Daniel Osvaldo concedes he and fellow Azzurri goalscorer Daniele De Rossi “must earn our places” for Italy and Roma.
They were both dropped for last week’s 2-0 win over Atalanta by Zdenek Zeman, but were on target in Italy’s 3-1 World Cup qualifier against Armenia  this evening.
“This goal is important because it allowed us to relax into the lead. On a personal level I am happy when I score, but this is a goal like all the others,” said Osvaldo.
“I speak for me, but I think also for Daniele. We always try to give our all for Italy and Roma, so at the end of the day hard work pays off.
“I wanted to put it in at the back post and fortunately it went well. Daniele gave me a great assist and that made it all easier.
“We were a little unlucky in attack today and Armenia were very defensive, but at the end we won and that is the only thing that counts.”
Osvaldo was meant to partner Mario Balotelli tonight, but Sebastian Giovinco started instead due to the Manchester City striker suffering from a cold.
“It’s all the same to me,” said Osvaldo. “Both Mario and Seba are both great players. It’s a shame for Mario, but we hope to have him ready for the next game.
“Am I a regular in the Nazionale? Obviously when you feel the faith of the Coach then everything is easier. I still have to work very hard and do not consider myself a first choice. This is true both of the Nazionale and Roma. I need to earn my place in both teams.
“I was disappointed by Zeman’s words, though. People can say anything about me except that I don’t put the effort in. Did we clear the air? There was nothing to clear.”