Fabio Quagliarella thanked the Italy fans in Udine for “an emotional night and it’s a pity it was almost the perfect dream” with a goal.
The 36-year-old came off the bench during the 2-0 victory over Finland and almost scored twice, forcing a one-handed save with practically his first touch, then clipping the crossbar.
“It was such an emotional night, even just sitting on the bench. I want to thank the crowd, as they gave such a warm welcome,” Quagliarella told Rai Sport.
“It’s a pity that it was almost the perfect dream, but there was a save and then I hit the bar. I had two chances, it’s a shame they didn’t go in, but I’m happy."
This was his first Azzurri cap since November 2010, a gap of 3,048 days.
“As I’ve always said, I just have to keep doing well with the Samp jersey, as it’s thanks to them that I got here. I take it one day at a time.
“This has been a marvellous evening, and to be back here in a stadium that was my home for two years, that still clearly has affection for me, it’s wonderful.”
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