Tuesday August 14 2012
El Shaarawy 'excited' to face England

Stephan El Shaarawy will start against England tomorrow and is “hugely excited” at his senior Italy debut.

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ has been named in Cesare Prandelli’s starting XI for the international friendly in Berne, Switzerland.

“I am hugely excited at this call-up and it will be important for me to face a prestigious side like England,” he said in a Press conference.

“I am happy to have made it to the Azzurri and I’ll use it as motivation to prove all my worth.

“My dream is to play at the 2014 World Cup. For a start my first call has arrived and I hope there will be other chances in the future.”

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s sale to PSG, there should be more playing time for El Shaarawy at Milan this season.

“Some players who made the history of this club have left, but I am convinced at the end of the transfer window we’ll see a competitive Milan.

“Will Antonio Cassano leave too? I hope not, as it would be a very serious loss for the team. We’re talking about a champion who is a focal point for Milan and the Nazionale.

“Massimiliano Allegri and Prandelli are two great Coaches who know how to motivate the team and especially younger players like me.”

El Shaarawy – who has an Egyptian father and Italian mother – will partner Mattia Destro and Alessandro Diamanti in attack.

“My favourite role is cutting in from the flank. I know Destro well, as we already played together for the Under-21 side.”