Emanuele Giaccherini has looked to explain the reasons behind his summer move from Italian champions Juventus to Sunderland.
“Leaving Juventus was a very difficult decision to make,” he said from Italy’s training base on Wednesday.
“It was hard because I left many friends, teammates and a Coach in Antonio Conte who made a difference to my career.
“I’m happy with the choice I made though even if I had to give up a top club like Juve.
“I considered a number of factors and not just the economical one. It was a lifestyle choice too, that allows me to play with more regularity.”
The versatile midfielder, sold for €7.5m, was used in just 17 League games in Turin last season.
“A player needs to look inside himself,” he added. “Perhaps pride played a part in the move, because I wanted to become a protagonist in a team again.
“Not that I wasn’t at Juventus, because I always looked to contribute when asked to do so, but I wanted to play more often.”
Giaccherini should now be more visible to Italy boss Cesare Prandelli with World Cup 2014 on the horizon.
“I spoke to Prandelli and he told me to remain calm. He said he would keep calling me up, whoever I was playing for, if I continued to do well.”
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!