Federico Chiesa discussed comparisons with father Enrico and being the face of the new Fiorentina. “We’ve not yet seen the real Federico Chiesa.”
The Viola take on Milan today at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.
Chiesa is the son of former Parma and Fiorentina star Enrico Chiesa, remarkably making his Serie A debut on August 20, 2016 against Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon – who had been his Dad’s teammate at the Stadio Tardini when Federico was born.
“I have to thank my father and my mother Francesca, who always supported me and chose the right words at the right time,” the 20-year-old winger told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“It all happened so quickly. When I started pre-season training in 2016, I didn’t know where I would be playing that season, but within a few days Paulo Sousa decided I would remain and then gave me my debut from the start in the opening game against Juventus.
“That is never like any other match in Florence. It was an unforgettable experience and a great show of faith from the Coach. I was just happy to be in the squad! The feelings I had were indescribable.
“My father says that you only become a real player once you have 300 Serie A appearances under your belt. I just managed 50 with Fiorentina.
“I’m a very different player to my father, as he had a formidable shot, while I’m working on mine. We do both crouch over a bit when running with the ball, though.
“The only thing that has really changed is my rapport with the fans, as now when I walk in the city, I am recognised and asked for selfies. For the rest, I don’t feel any different.
“I consider expectation to be motivation. My philosophy is the same as it was when I first started: give my heart and soul in every training session. I don’t see myself as a leader at all. On the contrary, every week I must prove that I deserve a place in the XI.
“I am well aware that I’ve done nothing yet and I feel we’ve not yet seen the real Federico Chiesa. I have to improve my defending and possession.”
There were reports of interest from the likes of Napoli, Juventus, Inter, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, but Chiesa recently signed a new contract to 2022.
“It makes me proud to be linked with so many clubs, but I signed on to 2022 because Fiorentina are also a top club. I was born in Genoa, but Florence is my home. I am happy to be playing for the team that believed in me. It’s an honour to wear the Viola jersey.”
Chiesa was asked who he particularly admired in the football world.
“As a child, my idol was Kaka, both on and off the field. We’ve got a corridor at home with all the jerseys of the champions, but his is missing…
“Right now, I like Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, then Angel Di Maria, but above all I like to watch Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the most entertaining side in Europe.”
Fiorentina face Milan today and it’s a head-to-head for Europa League places, even if the Rossoneri had loftier ambitions to begin with.
“Nobody expected them to run into so many difficulties, but Milan remain a difficult opponent and we cannot afford any drops in concentration. It’s sort of a Year Zero for Fiorentina and we’re taking it one day at a time.”