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Monday June 17 2019
Time to worship Chiesa

Federico Chiesa lit up Italy's European Under-21 Championship opener against Spain with a brilliant brace. Giancarlo Rinaldi thinks it's time to start taking the Fiorentina winger seriously.

Every so often you witness a display where a player justifies the hype and backs up all the ballyhoo about their footballing potential. It is wonderful to watch an emerging star show all they have to offer across 90 magical minutes or so. Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa delivered just such a virtuoso performance to help Italy's Under-21s see off Spain on Sunday night.

For 20 minutes or so, mind you, it appeared he and the rest of his teammates would be skulking away from the scene of the crime with their heads hidden. They were being outpassed and outthought by their opponents, who looked like strolling to victory. It took something to click in the Azzurrini attacker - and the rest of his colleagues - to turn this around.

They stepped up the snarl and snap in their play and suddenly their Spanish visitors looked less assured. It wasn't always pretty but boy was it effective. And, in Chiesa, they had a man with the verve, energy and killer instinct to deliver the deadly blows.

The icing on the cake was a cool as you like penalty from Lorenzo Pellegrini as Gigi Di Biagio got this star-studded generation to deliver a result worthy of their reputation. In a tough group - and a tight competition - there is still work to be done, but this was a huge step forward. And it was appropriate that the man at the centre of so much transfer speculation was also at the centre of most of the good things Italy produced.

This was a cracking team performance, of course, but Chiesa felt like its conductor. He has a great attitude to the game that seemed to crackle through his companions as the match progressed. No wonder clubs in Serie A and elsewhere are reputedly lining up for his signature. Rocco Commisso has said he wants to keep him - but will he be able to if the price keeps rising with performances like this?

Of course, some doubters will remain to be convinced. It was only the Under-21s, which is true enough, but this was still a game where Enrico's boy genuinely looked the business. He danced around defenders, cracked in a couple of goals and constantly tormented the opposition with his drive and determination. If this is what an overrated player looks like - give me a team of 11 of them.

Italy will need more of the same, for sure, if they hope to make the semi-finals - such is the nature of this event - but this had the potential to be a watershed moment. The Azzurrini used to boss this age category, but it is a while since they have managed to do so. Top of their group with the senior team, the women's side performing brilliantly and the Under-20s going close at their World Cup - things are definitely looking up for Calcio. It might be another false dawn, who knows, but everything feels a lot brighter than it did just a summer ago. And Federico Chiesa is definitely one of the reasons the fans have to be cheerful as he is starting to show with more and more regularity. Let's try and enjoy him while we can. That isn't so much to ask, is it?

Have your say...
DiBaggio doing his part to lose this tourney... no Zaniolo or Tonali or Kean to start today... Not a fan of Cutrone... not thet skilled, really... Oh well, he's lost two tournaments already.. why not another.
on the 19th June, 2019 at 12:16pm
@Juve Fan, you are right, if Juventus wanted to sign Chiesa, he has to play him regularly their. But I dont think Juventus will allow him to play regularly because they are so obsessed with winning that they dont care when it comes to player career. Look for instance, Federico Bernadeshci, he is a great player at Fiorentina and last year or so he has regressed rather than progressed. Big Clubs can make players but they can ruin players as well.
on the 19th June, 2019 at 8:58am
As for how Chiesa compares to his father, let's not forget that Enrico exploded on the scene at Sampdoria in 95-96, when he was in his mid twenties. Prior to that, he was doing well in Serie B. It's perhaps an unfair comparison to make because the Enrico that we remember was approaching his peak, whereas his son is only 21. They are also very different players, Enrico: lively, technical, fierce shot who played down the middle. Fed: a speed demon who is probably best used down the flanks.
on the 18th June, 2019 at 9:50am
Seems like Rocco Commisso is the new Lotito - unwilling to sell Chiesa, talking about 100m not being enough to prize him away - what a delusional man, Chiesa clearly wants to move on to a bigger club, how can he justify keeping him against his will and stagnating his career.

If Commisso cared about the Azzurri he'd let him go so he can flourish at a big club, he doesn't become a star without CL football, players get noticed on the big stage not playing week in week out in their home league...
on the 18th June, 2019 at 9:46am
Sam, I don't see your comments as being overly negative: more like objective criticism. Chiesa does have huge potential, but at the same time he is far from the finished article. Not only does he need to polish up several areas of his game, he also has to play like he did the other night, week in week out. If he does this, he could become world class & reach Mbappe's level. If not, he'll become another Theo Walcot - a dynamic headless chicken.
on the 18th June, 2019 at 9:39am
We always make comparisons when it comes to how great an Italian player is. Every generation divided by decades of football. Stars like Totti DelPiero Pirlo Maldini Buffon were all young stars up and coming....and for the most part they lived up to their hype.
But Chiesa....out of everyone reminds me of a new Del Piero.

La Nazionale will look good in future years
on the 18th June, 2019 at 5:16am
Starting to wonder whether Sam is an Italian football hater in disguise coming onto this blog section to project his negativity.

Chiesa hasn't been average he took a standing ovation vs Juve away in turin and his stats are good.

You're hating on Chiesa but it's getting boring now - I don't think anyone is taking you seriously.

We're talking about our future generation and focused on the excitement all round after a great game, and progress made by main NT - you're comments are random
on the 18th June, 2019 at 3:03am
@dink & Co

1 dimensional? I was watching serie A during the times of Marco Nappi, cult legends like pasquale de Vincenzo, promising studs like Renato buso, Eugenio Corini, Alessio Pirri and Roberto Muzzi. These guys all showed something at some point.I've seen better prospects than chiesa fail such as Giovanni Stroppa.

Robben is 1 dimensional in his style but not when it comes to sheer dynamism Chiesa isn't even in the same LEAGUE. Have you watched this guy at all this year? He's been average
on the 17th June, 2019 at 11:53pm
@SAM you proved your lack of knowledge and expertise when you said he is one dimensional and Robben isn't. Robben had one trick, granted it was hard to stop him, but he did them same time and time again.

And are you for real when you say he has no natural talent? And why talk about conversion rate, he is not striker and like I say that's part of his game he needs to improve.

Start watching Serie A every week before you post comments you cant back up
on the 17th June, 2019 at 7:49pm
So many of the players on the U 21 team are starters in many of the serie a squads and some are starters for la nazionale.
I do not want to get ahead of myself but I feel Italian football is at the beginning of a golden age.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 7:31pm
The negative comments are amusing but in life some operate on the side of optimism and others pessimism and then wonder why life is dull.

And the positive article plus the positive comments aren't delusional nor are they without warrant and yet others seem to find an excuse to chip in with their draining remarks.

Chiesa has proven himself hence he is linked with a big move.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 7:05pm
@Sam, Speaking of 1 dimensional I think your analysis of players is a bit 1 dimensional. On the ball, Spain were better than Italy however Chiesa was constantly pressuring and hounding them off the ball. He burned Aguirregabiria (pretty much all match) with the ball and buried it. So what is this BS "he's a good athlete who can show up against below par opposition."??? And what is this other BS about conversion rate? and not good with either of his feet?? He needs a bigger team than Fiorentina
on the 17th June, 2019 at 6:08pm
@dink

You're clearly not good at scouting. Chiesa isn't even close to his dads ability. He's worked very hard but he's not a natural talent. He's been poor in seria A and to say the potential to be better than Robben is insulting to anyone with any football intelligence. He's a poor finisher, a one-dimensional dribbler who has a poor conversion rate. he's a good athlete who can show up against below par oppositon. Robben might be only 1 footed but chiesa isn't good with either of his feet.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 3:30pm
The headline is cringe-worthy, yucks. Don't be fooled by his bursts of pace and running. He is but a 1-trick pony. What good does his running brings if it lacks end result? Mediocre goals, assists tally in Serie A . Poor conversion rate. Selfish guy. Performs better only when faced with inferior opponents in cup competitions. The gap between the U-21s and the senior team is considerable, so let's not get carried away until he proves himself in Serie A first.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 2:49pm
if he was Brazilian everyone would be shouting about him
on the 17th June, 2019 at 2:23pm
@SAM So negative, why? He was playing in a Viola side who nearly got relegated, and at the age of 21 was basically being asked to carry the team. He has the potential to be better than Robben whos is/was one footed. Chiesa has 2 great feet, is fast and just needs to polish his finishing/decision making.

IMO he needs to move to a bigger club where he isn't the only star man so he can develop without all the pressure/expectation which he currently plays under.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 1:11pm
Amen! Let's enjoy what the summer is bringing so far and support the players and coaches!!
on the 17th June, 2019 at 12:44pm
By the way,yesterday, for the first 25 minutes, Spain were so dominant and Chiesa decides to wake up..the speed, the strength, the dribbling skills...he is an amazing talent
on the 17th June, 2019 at 12:39pm
A cycle has passed, i think Italia is well on the way back to top with exceptional talents like Chiesa, Barella,Zaniolo,Bernardeschi, Insigne, Cutrone etc etc..Along with seasoned top players like Bonucci, Chiellini and technical players at their peak like Verratti, Jorginho etc, I wont vbe surprised if Italia were to win the enxt Euros or World cup
on the 17th June, 2019 at 12:37pm
He was a turbo charged nightmare for Spain last night. If he plays like this throughout the tounament his value will double. His enthusiasm is a joy to behold. Now a distant dream for Roma fans :(
on the 17th June, 2019 at 11:42am
Italian owners have a habit of hoarding Italian players ultimately hindering their careers i.e. Totti, De Rossi and yet they'll sell their foreign players to big clubs?

Chiesa needs to leave Forientina to reach his full potential, would love him at Juve BUT Juve have a habit of ruining a player's momentum especially Italians, so if we do sign him he has to start otherwise he's better off at Inter / Bayern / PSG.

6 of Spain's team played at the last Euro + Fabian Ruiz, we beat a solid team!
on the 17th June, 2019 at 11:35am
No. I wouldn't go this far. He's actually been underwhelming in Serie A for the past few months and sure, he had a great moment here but most of the time when I watch him I get frustrated by his lack of composure, bad fouls etc. When you see a guy that's wow, you know it instantly, i think back to guy like Robben, when he was at PSV you could see ''it''. I don't see ''it'' with chiesa. I see great moments but I don't see it at the highest level. He's been pretty much invisible for the full NT.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 11:25am
Amazing strength, determination and vigor. He can become world-class player like this, he needs to keep going.
on the 17th June, 2019 at 11:24am

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