Brescia defender Andrea Cistana felt “emotional” when receiving his first Italy call and is glad he had “formative experiences” in the lower leagues.
This is the first call-up for the 22-year-old, who never appeared for Italy at youth levels either, but is in the squad for Euro 2002 qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia.
“It was emotional to receive the call, recognition for all I’ve done over the last few years, because it wasn’t easy at the start between Serie C and D,” said the centre-back in his press conference.
“Serie B was very tough on me too last season, but we won the title. The results aren’t coming right now, but I am happy to be learning so much.
“All that time spent in the lower leagues taught me a great deal and helped me to mature. I would advise younger players to accept a move to Serie D or C rather than continue playing for the Primavera youth team, as it is a much more formative experience.
“If you’d asked me two years ago where I’d be now, I would’ve said a first choice player in Serie C. I don’t think I can be called up for Italy due to one game, it’s a long period of work and performances that bear fruit.”
How has Cistana found his first impact with the Nazionale?
“I have been impressed with how certain champions approached us newcomers, keeping it simple and welcoming, despite the fact we haven’t had that many Serie A games.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to be in the Euro 2020 squad, but I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/