“Saint Manolo” on FourFourTwo!
Big interview with Manolo Gabbiadini on May edition of FourFourTwo. Below you can find a summary.
“I’m good. I’ve been helped a lot by my team-mates, by the manager, and by the whole environment here. All the people are good people here. It’s rare to find only people like this. And then I can’t hide the fact that the goals have helped. Because for an attacker those are fundamental. So altogether, I’ve started well. I’m a calm person, so you adjust yourself to whatever type of life it might be. I have to say that everyone had told me bad things about the food, but I’m eating well. I’ve even driving on the left-hand side of the road. So yeah, it’s going well”.
“I had spoken a bit with Pellè, and he had said only good things. And everything he said is turning out to be true. A club made up only of good people, who do their work with 100% commitment. Every person who is involved. Then, I learned a little bit about the city from the internet. It’s difficult to compare an English city to an Italian one, because Italy is very different”.
Matt Le Tissier
“I knew about him from videos. You could say he’s the Maradona of Southampton, a bit like Naples has Maradona, here they had Le Tissier. But yes, he’s well-known as a player and when I came here I quickly understood the super-importance he had to this place. I have to say that when he speaks on TV, or in the newspapers, he always says good things about me, so whenever I do see him I have to thank him. That’s a very nice thing”.
“I grew up there, in their youth system. So I saw the first-team players up close, because just like here they used to train on the pitch next to the youth team. Then I would go and watch them on Sundays, because if you were in the youth team they gave you a season ticket. I went to every game with my dad, so I grew up watching them”.
Family, position, attackers idolised
“Our parents are not not the sort of football super-fans who would have a game on TV every night. When I played in Italy, they came to watch me. They came to every game when I was playing in the north. When they can, they come here, too, like they would when I was in Naples. Now they still go and watch my sister every week, because she’s playing in Verona – one hour away. When I was six-years-old, I went to sign up for the football school in my village carrying a pair of goalkeeping gloves. But there were already four keepers there, and so they told me – since I was the smallest, I was six years old – ‘go play in attack, don’t be a pain’. And yeah, that’s it. From then on I played up front. My father, when he was younger, had been a goalkeeper. He didn’t play to a high level because he wasn’t in a position to make football his full-time pursuit. Attackers idolised? I liked to watch Diego Milito. Drogba. They are two strikers who I watched a lot. But there are loads of strikers I looked up to”.
“It’s different. I think it would be more beautiful to watch a game here, because there are lots of scoring chances. I found that out myself, playing, that I had lots of opportunities in every match. I can’t say that one league is easier or harder. It’s just different. It’s different. There’s no ‘better’ or ‘weaker’”.
Good start and goals
“I wanted to do well, because I came here with a desire to do the best I could. Particular secret? No, the secret is that my team-mates, the boss, everyone else at the club, put their faith in me right away. Lots of the goals I’ve scored are thanks to my team-mates. Not lots of them, actually, all of them because without my team-mates I wouldn’t have done anything. The most important goal is to continue what I’m already doing, and to try to win every match. Above all, to give the most that I can, all the time. The important thing is that I give the most that I can, always”.
“I want to make it into the squad for Russia 2018. Yes, because I’ve never played in a competition like it. I had one with the Under-21s, where we reached the final of the Euros, then lost the final against Spain. It’s beautiful because it all plays out over a month, or three weeks, and you spend all the time with your team-mates, playing every three days. It’s a really beautiful thing, a wonderful sensation, and I’ve never experienced it with the senior national team. I hope to do so next year”.