Federico Bernardeschi believes his mentality has improved at Juventus. “A player becomes something special in that context.”
The former Fiorentina youth product is finding his feet in Turin and become a regular in the senior Italy squad.
“Football is passion, hunger, all of my life,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I must say that I am truly fortunate, because to embrace your passion as a profession too is something very special that, unfortunately, not everyone gets to experience.
“Juventus is a marvellous club and a style, whose mentality has been the key to huge achievements over the years. I think a Juventus player becomes something special in that context.
“It was tough at the start when I wasn’t playing very much, but I kept calm because I was well aware I had joined a massive club whose history speaks for itself.
“I think every player has to go through his own maturation process before he can definitively become part of the Juve world. It’s only normal when joining such a big club.
“I must say that over the last few months I’ve felt something that gives me an extra boost, above all mentally. I always worked on my mentality and I think that is bearing fruit.”
Bernardeschi is a very versatile player who can work in midfield, on the wing, in the trident attack or even as a pure striker.
“It does give me a sense of freedom and I am happy with that, as I’m convinced in modern football a player must know how to cover more than one role. Football has changed, there is more athleticism and dynamism.
“It’s essential to be in a position to give your Coach and teammates more options to rely on and I do love to make myself useful wherever needed.
“I’ve always said that I’m happy just to play and enjoy myself, regardless of the position.”
Bernardeschi was asked if he had ever cried over football and did not hold back.
“I think it’s only natural, because of the passion, time and sacrifice you pour into this sport. When you don’t reach the objective you set, or things go wrong, you need to take a moment so that you can later get past it. It’s part of the game and I think it’s a wonderful part we shouldn’t ignore.
“The result that really made me cry was when Italy went out of the European Under-21 championship in the semi-final against Spain in 2017. I really cared about that competition. I felt the same way for the senior side under Antonio Conte in Euro 2016 and obviously when we failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.”