Sunday June 9 2019
Pinamonti wants it all for Italy

Inter striker Andrea Pinamonti will participate for Italy in both the U20 World Cup and the European U21 Championships. “I’d love to play in Euro 2020 too.”

The youngster is currently in Poland with the Azzurrini for the U20 World Cup, and they have a semi-final with Ukraine on Tuesday, while he was also named in Luigi Di Biagio’s squad for the U21 European Championships, which start next Sunday.

The 20-year-old has four goals in the tournament so far and is coming off the back of a break-out season on loan at Frosinone, where he scored five times in 27 games for the relegation strugglers.

“It will take a great effort to reach the World Cup Final, but I’m just proud to be here and happy to be part of the European Championships,” he told La Repubblica.

“It’s true that I turned down my first call-up to the U21 squad, as I had exams. The call came out of the blue, I was still playing with the U19’s. Having reached the Inter first team, I missed out on a lot of schoolwork and I had arranged with my teachers to take my exams at that time.

“I cried when I scored my first goal in Serie A away to SPAL, my parents were in the stadium. My Father Massimo is a bank manager, and my Mother works on the farm with my uncles. I was lucky to be able to live the dream that so many kids have when they start kicking a football.”

The Azzurrini hitman scored a Panenka-style penalty against host nation Poland in the Round of 16, before also converting from the spot in the quarter-final against Mali.

“The goalkeeper tried to put me off by moving his arms, and the crowd was whistling and jeering me, but I found a way to silence them.

“You only score like that every now and then and only in the games that really matter. I had already scored one like that in the Primavera semi-final against Roma.”

Pinamonti found the net four times in his trial match with the Nerazzurri after joining from Chievo at 14, while in 50 matches with the Primavera he found the back of the net on 27 occasions.

“I’m an old-fashioned No 9, my job is to score goals and be a target man thanks to my physical characteristics. Other than when teams play with a False Nine, the centre-forward position will always have an important role in football.

“Mauro Icardi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are players that inspire me. The Argentine is one of the best in the world, despite what happened this season.

“I would love to be part of the senior team at Euro 2020 and I will do everything I can to reach that goal. I was very happy when I was called up by Roberto Mancini for the training camp in April, there is no higher level than the national team.”

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