Sunday October 14 2018
Biraghi dedicates winner to Astori

Cristiano Biraghi dedicated his Italy winner against Poland to former Fiorentina teammate Davide Astori. “It’s thanks to him that I’m here.”

Biraghi played alongside Astori at Fiorentina last season, until the defender’s tragic death on the eve of their match against Udinese in March.

“Astori is a part of me, like all my Fiorentina teammates and all those who played with him,” the Italy hero told Rai Sport after Sunday’s game.

“Having faced him in person, he made the biggest impact on us. The dedication for my goal goes to him because it’s thanks to him that I’m here. He taught me so much.

“Goals? I’m not that good in the air, so I waited at the back post. Kudos to Kevin [Lasagna] for flicking the ball to me.

“It also went like that against Ukraine: it was us who created chances, but the goalkeepers were the best players on the pitch and no goals went in.

“They countered well, but this victory is deserved for the work we’ve been doing. Minutes passed and the ball didn’t go in. It was the same thing against Ukraine on Wednesday.

“After a while, maybe we started to get nervous but we did well until the end. These games are easier to lose, so we did well.

“I’m very happy: it’s a win for the group, for Italy. We’re die-hard, we always fight and we must keep going like this. We’re a group of strong players.”

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