Monday November 15 2010
Ledesma: 'I feel Italian'

Lazio midfielder Cristian Ledesma insists that he feels like an Italian and not like an Oriundo on being called up to represent the Azzurri.

The 28-year-old Argentine, who has an Italian passport, is one of four new faces in Cesare Prandelli's squad ahead of this week's friendly against Romania.

"I don't feel like an Oriundo," he said. "I feel Italian and it's for this reason that I am happy. Actually I am overjoyed to be called up to the Italy squad.

"I got to know my wife in Salento. My two children were born there and I grew up as a player and as a man in that area.

"I like the definition that Prandelli has given to players like me. I didn't come here to consider myself an Oriundo. I consider myself Italian.

"This is a decision that my family in Argentina has also appreciated, even my father."

When asked about his knowledge of all things Italian, Ledesma said: "I know the national anthem and I will sing it."

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