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16 Dec A Brighton English Premier League
19 Dec H Bournemouth EFL Cup
22 Dec H Leicester English Premier League
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When I was young…Davide Zappacosta


I played in the streetsor in parks with myfriends at first, especially with my best friend who I used to kick a ball about with outside the back of my grandmother’s house. There was a forecourt there so we used to have lots of fun, but at the age of seven I started playing on a more organised level, with a team, and my first club was Sora.

There weren’t many tricks I used to do but I watched Ronaldinho and the likes of him, to see what things they were doing and try to imitate them.

I used to be quite a shy boy, quite a reserved character, but as timepassed I started to come out of my shell a bit more and have a bit more confidence. That helped me to achieve a lot of things in life.


I would definitely choose the World Cup in 2006, when Italy won. I was 14 at the time and it’s something I will always remember. We got together with friends and lots of other people in the squaresin town to watch the games on the big screen. So it was really great, especially because Italy weren’tone of the favourites to win the tournament that year. There were so many other teams stronger on paper, so it was fantastic for us.

Most of the time, outside of football, I would meet with friends, usually in the same spot because there were no mobile phones at the time. So the best way was just to go out and get together, and we used to have fun in the town centre.

I think, for every little boy, the prized possession is always aball. I don’t remember any other particular objects I held close to me other than the football, which I always had with me.


My first role was on the right side of midfield, but thenat the age of 16, my coach decided to let me play as a ‘trequartista’, like a No10, with a bit more freedom. That was really good for me becauseI had a good run there and scored a lot of goals, which started to get me noticed.

Most people that doone sport well areusually quite goodat others and my second- best sport was always basketball. Both my mother and brother played it, so we often used to go together to play where there was a basket hanging on a wall near our house.

I didn’t watch too many films as a kid, but I remember watching a lot of cartoons. I don’t know if you had this show in England, but in Italy we used to watch a cartoon called


My favourite player was Pavel Nedved, who was great, especially in the year he won the Ballon d’Or.Dragon Ball, where the characters transformed into dragons. But the one I used to really love was Oliver & Benji, which was a Japanese football cartoon. I rushed home after training sessions to watch that as a kid.He was a player with a big personality, he used to play with both feet, and he always gave everything in every game. I really liked his style of play.

I was influenced a lot by my brother’s taste in music. He used to listen to bands like Queen, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, so that kind of rock music. The song that sticks out for me from those days is Always by Bon Jovi.

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