After missing the Azzurri's last two matches against Portugal and the United States due to injury and not playing against Poland, Federico Bernardeschi returns to the national team after a five month hiatus. And this time, he returns a Juventus symbol after a strong performance against Atletico Madrid. He has clearly grown under the tutelage on his model Cristiano Ronaldo. Now he's ready to become a pillar of the Italian national team and looks ahead to Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Finland and Lichtenstein.
"We are a strong team from all points of view. This Italy has already shown something in Nations League: many chances, good play, and fun both on and off the pitch. We need to still earn a bit of experience, but we're on the right path to take on the Euros in the best of ways."
On his relationship with Ronaldo and CR7's risk of disqualification: "I think that it was just a celebration, you close it all there. To intervene would be crazy. He's very serene, but we're all awaiting the sentencing. He's world-class in every way, he's shown it in every part of the world. In England, Spain and now Italy. He gives us a lot and has the charisma of a champion. Staying close to him allows you to learn many things.
On the Azzurri talent: "There's absolutely talent. This group has a lot of talent on the inside. They won't be judged quickly. A young player needs time to make mistakes and to grow. There are many talents we can count on. I think that I'm a leader on the team, without mentioning Chiellini, Bonucci and Sirigu. There are many players that give trust and let the young players insert themselves the best without feeling the pressure or weight of the blue shirt."
On Chiesa: "We're talking about a very strong player that's doing great things this year. It's important that he decides what he really wants and feels. You cannot let anyone get in your head, nobody has decided for me and it needs to be the same for Federico. I can only say that he's really improved both at a technical and character level. He's young with a lot of road ahead."