The Giallorossi striker talks about himself, between the past and the desire for A and Italy: “I play to win, and I dream of the blue”
When he was a kid and played five-a-side football at Juventus in Sao Paulo, Brazil, coincidentally, he was nicknamed “Espeto”, due to his hair in the shape of a tip. “Espeto”, in Portuguese, means spit, the rod that sticks to the meat, rather than “spit”, as incorrectly expressed by some online translators. Now Gabriel Strefezza, one of the architects of Lecce’s title in Serie B and promotion to A last season, returns to the top division that he had already known in the 2019-20 championship with Spal.
The debut opponent is Inter but Strefezza dispels fears: “I’m back in Serie A and I want to stay there. We told the younger players of Lecce not to be afraid, despite the fact that we face a great team. You must always play to win with boldness, personality. We have seen some videos of Inter, we have to keep Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez at bay. Lukaku is strong and Lautaro turns around him. They can complicate our life. We have to close well in defense and then go out fast on counter-attacks, with our 4-3-3. Prepare the plays on the wings for the conclusions of our forwards, perhaps with the head or in a slide. The Inter defense is very fast with Bastoni, Skriniar and De Vrij. Lecce fans have already done their part with over 20,000 season tickets. It is up to us to repay them ”.
Now with Baroni he plays in his favorite role: “Since I have been at Lecce I have been at ease as a right winger. But in my career I have also covered the roles of second striker, attacking midfielder, midfielder ”. Sicilian Oriundo, the blue dream does not go out: “Maybe I’ll play one day for Brazil or for Italy. Of course, I’m better known here than in Brazil. There would be more possibilities in the Italian national team ”. Strefezza never took to the field with the Corinthians professionals, where he grew up, but he only trained with the first team. Then he arrived in Italy at the age of 18 and was rejected by the current Nerazzurri coach: “I spent a week in testing at Palermo and then at Lazio. Simone Inzaghi, then Lazio coach, told my agent that I was good as a footballer, but short in stature (168 centimeters, ed). But then he took the Spal from me. I don’t have it with Inzaghi, episodes of this kind happen in football ”.
In the season he played in Serie A with Spal he exchanged the shirt twice with Cristiano Ronaldo, then at Juve. “He has always been my idol. My friends said that Messi was the best in the world and I replied that it was Ronaldo. He was very nice to me. We spoke in Portuguese, despite the age difference ”.
August 13 – 09:09
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