Nicolò Zaniolo’s mother has thanked everyone for their support after the Roma star’s serious injury. “He wants Euro 2020 at all costs, but knows it’s a long shot.”
The 20-year-old was stretchered off in tears during last night’s 2-1 defeat to Juventus and tests confirmed the worst, as he will require surgery for a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament with additional meniscus damage.
Juve defender Merih Demiral suffered the exact same injury earlier on in the match, raising questions about the state of the Stadio Olimpico turf.
“In the instant he felt that crack, he knew something was very seriously wrong,” revealed his mother Francesca Costa, who rushed to be by his side at the Villa Stuart clinic last night.
“He’s doing much better now, laughing and joking. He is himself again. Last night he was in a very, very bad way, though.
“The messages of encouragement have been a great help and he’s so happy, showing me his phone and going: ‘Mamma, look who wrote to me!’ He received messages from all his teammates, but also champions from all quarters.
“The most touching was from (Italy coach Roberto) Mancini, as it said: ‘I’m waiting for you.’ Plus he had messages from Paulo Fonseca, Luka Modric, Mario Balotelli, while Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci stayed close. Alessandro Florenzi came to the house to visit him last night.”
Roma captain Florenzi knows more than most how to deal with this moment, as he suffered two ACL tears in October 2016 and February 2017.
“Florenzi told him to relax, because he knows that Nicolò is terrified of being under anaesthetic. That’s what scares him more than anything. In reality, it’s a simple procedure and Florenzi was comforting him.
“Nicolò is handling it well now, he told me this is something that can happen in this line of work. It’s from negative incidents that your character emerges and he has shown in the past that he’s got plenty of determination.”
Zaniolo will have surgery today and is expected to be out of action for at least four to six months.
“He wants to be at Euro 2020, at all costs, but also knows it’s a long shot.”
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