Swiss-born footballer Natan Girma, a player for Reggiana in Serie B, has spoken candidly with La Gazzetta dello Sport about his footballing journey and current life in Italy.
In the interview, Girma recounted his first Christmas as a professional footballer. “This was my first Christmas as a professional. On December 26th, we won 1-0 against Catanzaro, and my goal was decisive,” he reportedly stated. Despite the joy of such achievement, Girma confessed to missing his family, whom he hadn’t seen since June.
Speaking of his adoration for football legends, Girma revealed Ronaldinho was his idol during his early football days. “I used to watch Ronaldinho’s videos on YouTube. I chose the number 80 jersey because that was his number at Milan,” said Girma.
Girma’s journey hasn’t been free from trials. He began his footballing career in Switzerland, playing for amateur clubs from ages 13 to 17. “I organized matches in the countryside, but I never quit,” he said. He rose quickly, becoming the captain of Servette’s B Team and even playing against Barcelona in a tournament at La Masia.
However, according to Girma, the course of his career could have been different. “I was supposed to sign for Hannover in the German second division. It was all sorted, but at the last moment, the deal fell through,” said Girma, quoting from the interview. Feeling stranded, his agent Gabriele La Manna convinced him to come to Italy to play amongst amateurs.
Girma also voiced his admiration for his current coach. “‘Nesta is a great coach, he talks a lot with us players. In the last thirty meters, he leaves me free, saying that I should let my talent guide me. While in the setup phase, he gives me a lot of advice,’ Girma was quoted as saying.