Raspadori: I Dislike the Stereotype of the Footballer Without Curiosity

Napoli and Italy national team striker Giacomo Raspadori has opened up about his life and career in an extensive interview with Walter Veltroni for La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Raspadori spoke about the apparent incongruity between footballers and higher education, revealing his ambition to combat these stereotypes. The footballer explained he is in the process of obtaining a sports science degree and that other professionals, such as Pessina, Pobega, Buongiorno, and Chiellini, demonstrate that high-level sport and education can coincide. “I’m a practical person, focused on my daily life. I would like to show in the future that footballers can pursue both the game and knowledge,” the striker stated.

Talking about his childhood, Raspadori fondly remembered his bedroom which he shared with his brother. It was filled with football memorabilia and books. “Our mother educated us on the beauty of reading,” he shared. He said that conversations filled with dreams and energy in their locked room played a significant role in shaping their future.

Regarding his early footballing days, Raspadori recalled starting on the streets and then at a local club in Castel Maggiore. He moved to Sassuolo at the age of 11. Raspadori said his first coach asked the boys to choose their positions, and although he had always played in midfield, the coach believed he was best suited as a striker.

Despite his smaller stature, Raspadori does not see his physique as a limitation; instead, it spurs him to constantly evolve and improve on both tactical and technical levels. “Understanding this early has made me work harder,” he said.

The Napoli forward spoke emotionally about playing for the national team. “It’s a crazy feeling. Knowing you are representing your country and giving hope to thousands of children who share your dream,” Raspadori said.

Raspadori acknowledged the disappointment of the national team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, admitting that this was a game he never wants to relive, yet concurrently wishes he could change. Despite the crushing defeat, he believes they have a strong group and a great coach who will help them bounce back.

Raspadori argued strongly for the role of hard work in honing talent. “Talent is not enough without the toughness of work. The greatest fortune for those with talent is to realize it exists and to work on it, to discipline it to make it stand out,” he said.

On a personal front, Raspadori expressed gratitude to his parents for their support and unwavering faith. He also revealed the exciting news that he is expecting his first child in May, a milestone he considers the most crucial step in his and his partner’s lives.

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