Roma defender Gianluca Mancini has revealed World Cup winner and former Inter hero Marco Materazzi has been his idol since an early age.
The Giallorossi defender has revealed the story behind his first tattoo and revealed that it all started with his admiration for the Nerazzurri defender.
“I tattooed the number 23 because of Marco Materazzi,” Mancini told Cronache di Spogliatoio. “Finally, I put it on my shirt. For Marco it was born with the myth of Michael Jordan, for me it starts with him.”
His family were passionate Inter fans and Mancini admitted it helped him convince his father to let him have the tattoo at only 15.
“I was born in a family of Inter fans and I wasn’t even a defender, but when I saw him playing, with his competitive spirit, with a great left foot, he impressed me.
“He has always been the No23. It was the first tattoo I got. My dad was an Inter fan, for him getting a tattoo about an Inter player was immediately OK, so I had it done in a sly way. I was 15 and convinced my father by getting Marco’s number.”
Mancini was impressed by the former Italy international’s style and goalscoring abilities.
“He was a defender who scored a lot. When you’re a kid, the defenders are hard to admire, but he scored too. I liked the world he played in and where I admired him at 10 years old, during the 2006 World Cup.
“He entered against the Czech Republic and scored the first goal. Then you begin to understand a little bit, because at 10 you are still small but you already see some things.
“That was the spark. After, I watched all the videos, when he scored, when he was being hard. I was lucky enough to meet him, we talk every now and then and I ask for advice. For me, he’s the idol.”