Saturday March 23 2013
Cerci: 'Italy thanks to Toro'

Alessio Cerci has thanked Torino and Coach Giampiero Ventura for his Italy debut. “Six months ago I was nothing, now I play against Brazil.”

The Fiorentina-owned winger was a regular for the Azzurri at youth level, but received his first senior cap in the 2-2 friendly in Geneva on Thursday.

“I am young, but at times I do think back to the years I threw away,” the 25-year-old told La Stampa newspaper.

“Six months ago I was nothing, now I play against Brazil. It is down to hard work, of course, but also all the people who took me to this point. I put Ventura at the start of that list.

“It is a dream for every child who starts playing football that one day he’ll get to face Brazil. It was emotional and that was a problem, as for the first 10 minutes I was very nervous and couldn’t play to my best. I thought I had left the anxiety in the locker room, but was wrong.

“I tried to do what I do best, even if I realise that I must improve. I think I can give so much more. Am I like Bruno Conti? I grew up with him in the Roma youth academy and to reach his level I have a long, long way to go. If I’m compared to players like him, then it means I must be doing something right.”

Cerci had a very tense rapport with the Fiorentina fans and it remains to be seen what will happen when the loan deal expires this summer.

“The future is now and now is Toro. Of course I think about Italy and the World Cup now. To achieve it, I have to give my best with Toro.”

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