Monday November 7 2011
Abate: 'I'm not a stopgap for Italy'

Ignazio Abate is determined to show he deserves his call-up to the latest Italy squad and has rejected talk of being just a short-term solution.

Milan right-back Abate received his first call-up under Cesare Prandelli at the weekend for the international friendlies with Poland and Uruguay.

Azzurri CT Prandelli commented that Abate must develop a greater consistency to his play if he wants to be considered for Euro 2012 contention.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani responded that the youngster has fully merited his call-up, but also suggested that he cannot be used as merely a stopgap.

Abate himself has now commented on the call-up and believes he can become a long-term member of the team.

“I do not feel like a stopgap, I see this call as an opportunity for myself. It will be up to me to prove that I deserve in future to be in the new squad.

“Galliani has always believed in my qualities, I do not feel I am in the centre of a dispute between the club and the national team.

“They are very serene, Galliani has made statements about me, but it remains up to me to merit the position with the Azzurri.”

The converted right-sided midfielder took time to thank the Milan Coaches he has worked under, Leonardo and Massimiliano Allegri.

“How did I get here? For me, the first to play me at right-back was Leonardo, who found this role after I was successful in another as a youth.

“Then came Allegri, to whom I owe a lot, who made me work hard every day to learn the defensive phase and the mechanisms of the back-four.

“It was not easy because I was a winger and was accustomed to think only about attack.”

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