Wednesday September 13 2017
Cristante excited to face Rooney

Bryan Cristante admits he is excited about facing Wayne Rooney when Atalanta take on Everton this Thursday. “His name has an effect on you…”

Cristante is expected to start for Atalanta when they welcome Everton to Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium, and the former Milan starlet hopes the competition represents a fresh start for him.

“I moved to Bergamo after some bad experiences,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I said to myself, ‘enough is enough, it must be my year. I can’t mess up anymore.’ Gasperini was crucial to my growth.

“He wants me to get into spaces often, linking up with other players in the middle. Goals? I’m not thinking about them so much.

“When you feel confident, however, you feel secure and capable of playing well, but the Coach keeps telling me to ‘fly low’…

“The Europa League? The draw was a bit unlucky for us as we were paired with Lyon and Everton. Facing big teams, however, is challenging.

“Hearing Rooney’s name has a certain effect on you… That aside, we know we’ll be facing a great team, who have been near the top of the Premier League for several years.

“We’re studying their characteristics. It’s a pity, of course, not to be playing at our stadium after so many years of waiting to return to Europe. Still, I’m sure our fans will respond greatly.”