Thursday September 5 2019
Romagnoli on replacing Chiellini

Alessio Romagnoli discussed the pressure of replacing injured Giorgio Chiellini for Italy and why he “has to” play in the Champions League.

The Milan centre-back started with his former club teammate Leonardo Bonucci in this evening’s 3-1 win away to Armenia.

“We always have to improve and be ready when called upon,” Romagnoli told Rai Sport.

It’s the first of many games for Italy, because Chiellini is out for at least six months following anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

“Giorgio is a fantastic player and a great man. He helped me a great deal on international duty and I or whoever replaces him will give our best to make up for his absence.”

Armenia had taken a shock lead after 11 minutes, but Andrea Belotti scored twice and Lorenzo Pellegrini’s glancing header turned it around in this Euro 2020 qualifier.

“No game is easy, especially away from home, and we started badly, ran some risks on their counter-attacks. Once they went down to 10 men, we took more control and they sat back to only defend.

“On the Armenian goal, we tried to track back as much as we could, but the pass was timed perfectly and I didn’t know who was behind me.”

Romagnoli was asked about his career development at Milan, who miss out on Europe this season.

“I’d love to play in the Champions League and indeed I have to, because you can’t develop as a player without being in that tournament. I hope to experience it very soon.”