Bologna winger Riccardo Orsolini wants to “make the most” of his first senior Italy experience, but is really starting to miss Sinisa Mihajlovic.
The 22-year-old was a regular at Under-20 and Under-21 level, but this is his first senior call-up for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for me and I will try to make the most of it,” said the winger in his press conference.
“For me and all the newcomers, it’s a chance to get to know the Nazionale, to show the coach and teammates what we can do. I hope it is the first of many call-ups.
“I’d by a hypocrite to say I didn’t hope to be part of the Euro 2020 squad, but then I think everyone has that hope. It mustn’t be an obsession, things will come at the right time.
“I realised the moment I walked through the doors of the Coverciano training ground, they make you feel at ease. Personally, I was a bit scared at first, as I didn’t know everyone, but they made me feel an integral part of the group.
“In purely tactical terms, this Italy side has similar concepts to Bologna, which can be a small advantage for me. I did get to understand some of the atmosphere of an international team when playing the European Under-21 championship, even if that tournament didn’t go the way we wanted it to.
“Italian football has changed a lot recently, as before it was rare to see a young player given a chance to make his debut in Serie A. The only positive after the disappointment of missing out on the 2018 World Cup was the shake-up that led to clubs rediscovering the value of youth.”
Orsolini is a regular for Bologna, but the Rossoblu have started to struggle this season in the absence of coach Mihajlovic, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
“I owe a great deal to Mihajlovic and it’s also thanks to him that I am here today. It’s a strange situation, but in the last two-and-a-half weeks I haven’t spoken to him at all. He is going through an important period of rehabilitation.
“I would’ve loved to have his words of advice and support during this time, but the moment I get back to Bologna, I want to tell him all about what’s happening.”
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