Spinazzola reveals he opted out of Italy duty for individual training

By Sports Desk September 24, 2022

Roma's Leonardo Spinazzola has revealed he chose to miss Italy's Nations League fixtures to conduct individual training this month, as he continues his recovery from a serious Achilles tendon injury.

Spinazzola enjoyed a breakthrough on the international stage during Italy's successful Euro 2020 campaign last year, impressing as an attacking left-back for Roberto Mancini's side.

However, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the Azzurri's quarter-final win over Belgium in July 2021, returning to feature in just three Serie A matches before the end of last season.

The 29-year-old has appeared in all seven of the Giallorossi's league games this campaign, but revealed his previous injury continues to have an impact after opting to skip Italy's Nations League matches against England and Hungary.

"Not to go to Coverciano was my request to Roberto Mancini, the coach understood and allowed me these 10 days to get back in shape and do specific work for the calf," he told the club's media channels.

"I think mine is one of the worst injuries for a player, especially given my characteristics. I still lack some support and speed."

Roma are four points adrift of early Serie A pace-setters Napoli and Atalanta, but the arrival of Paulo Dybala and influence of coach Jose Mourinho have seen them tipped as potential title challengers.

Spinazzola spoke highly of the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, adding: "We are with him, whatever he says, we do. If he told us to go to war, we would do it. 

"That's right, he has this gift. Then everything he says, for the most part, comes true.

"But he is very calm in training. I don't know how he was in the past, but he's really calm. Sometimes he just observes from above. 

"He likes to observe how you move, how you move your body, your body language, he observes a lot of these things."

Roma were beaten by Atalanta in their last league outing, and will face a huge test of their Serie A credentials when they travel to another of Mourinho's former clubs Inter on October 1.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Real Madrid identify Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as new top target Rumour Has It: Real Madrid identify Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as new top target

    Real Madrid have reportedly pivoted away from Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and are now treating Benfica's Enzo Fernandez as their top transfer target.

    Bellingham, 19, was considered the top priority for the Spanish giants, but a report from Marca claims they now believe he is destined for the Premier League and will instead focus their resources on 21-year-old Fernandez.

    Fernandez arrived at Benfica in June after they were able to pry him away from River Plate for a deal worth up to €18million including add-ons, but his exploits on the Champions League stage – including assists against Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus – have that price looking like a steal.

     

    TOP STORY – REAL MADRID SET THEIR SIGHTS ON ARGENTINA'S NEW STAR

    Fernandez was handed his international debut as a 20-year-old back in November 2021, and his continued growth on the European stage earned his spot in Argentina's World Cup squad.

    Not content to purely come along for the ride, Fernandez was brought on as a substitute in each of his side's first two group games, and against Mexico he became Argentina's youngest goalscorer at a World Cup since Lionel Messi in 2006.

    His ability to both break into and perform for such a quality international side – entering the tournament on a 35-match unbeaten streak before falling to Saudi Arabia – has reportedly sent Fernandez's transfer value through the roof.

    Marca's report claims he is now viewed as a €100m talent by Benfica, and they expect to field offers in that neighbourhood soon.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Relevo, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag views the Netherlands' World Cup hero Cody Gakpo as his ideal replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

    – Fichajes is reporting Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all showing interest in 22-year-old Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus amid his excellent performances for Ghana.

    Bayern Munich remain interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane and are working on an offer between €80-100m, per Sky Sports Germany.

    – The Sun is reporting Chelsea are not happy with both Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga and will look to bring in a new first-choice goalkeeper.

    – With Rafael Leao likely leaving Milan at the end of the season, Gazzetta dello Sport claims they will try to fill the void with RB Salzburg's 22-year-old Swiss international Noah Okafor.

  • ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of  accusations made in explosive interview ‘We can’t impact visa decisions’ – JFF hits back at Bailey claims, demands player provide evidence of accusations made in explosive interview

    The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has refuted claims made in a recent interview by national player Leon Bailey and called for evidence in lieu of some of the explosive accusations levied against the organisation.

    In particular, the association took exception to a claim made by the player that suggested that the JFF had actively played a role in preventing his ability to travel abroad when he attempted to do so as a developing young player.

    “From I was 8 or 9 I have been getting 'fight' from the federation. They even tried to block me from going to Europe.  They linked up with the embassy to deny me a visa…the last time I went to Europe I had to fly to Cuba to get my visa,” Bailey told the Let’s Be Honest podcast.

    In addressing the issues, via a press release, the JFF expressed disappointment with many of the utterances made by the player and the manner in which the grievances were aired.

    Leon Bailey speaks out in explosive interview! The 25 y-o says JA football needs a proper system

    “It is unfortunate that Leon has apparently felt this way about the JFF, especially while playing for the Jamaica National team and not expressing it, and knowing his commitment to the program and country. He has indicated that the persons in the JFF, and by implication the JFF, has given him a fight and tried to block him from going to Europe by working through the Embassy…,” the release read.

    “This is quite unfortunate as the JFF has always seen Leon as an important member of the National team, and what he has said is baseless and is consistent with recent similar comments made, which we have called for evidence to be shared, either privately or publicly, so that we can act on it. To date, no such evidence has been shared. It is not credible to make anecdotal accusations without evidence, and by doing so seek to damage the reputation of individuals and the JFF as an organisation. We also find it impractical that a child between 8 and 12 years old would understand what the actions and motives of the JFF or any organisation would be, with any clear understanding as first-hand information,” it added.

    “In fact, by saying that the JFF has the capability to block an Embassy from issuing a visa, also implies that the Embassy is complicit with the JFF in acting, as he implies, in a “corrupt” manner. The JFF can assure everyone that we do not have the ability to influence a visa decision with any Embassy, and we would never seek to intervene in such a process.”

    The release went on to state that the matter had been referred to the team manager and coach for review.

     

     

  • Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double Rashford talks 'massive ambitions' for England after superb double

    Marcus Rashford has "massive ambitions" with England after his double downed Wales and sent the Three Lions into the World Cup's knockout stage as Group B winners.

    Rashford took his goal tally in Qatar to three after a wonderful free-kick and brilliant individual effort helped Gareth Southgate's side book a last-16 data against Senegal with a 3-0 victory at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

    The forward, who became the first United player to score three times for the Three Lions at a World Cup since Bobby Charlton in 1966, hopes his team-mates can carry their momentum into that clash on Sunday.

    "It's obviously a great feeling [to score two goals]," he told BBC Sport. "To be honest, we were a little bit disappointed as a team after the last game against the USA. I thought we could've played a lot better.

    "The only way to bounce back from that is to have a good performance in your next game, and I thought we did that. The first half, we defended brilliantly, we didn't give them any opportunities.

    "It was just about us killing the game off really and taking the chances when they came.

    "I fancied [a free-kick] in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there, it's just about being calm and trying to execute what you've practised in training. They don't go in often, but I'm pleased that it went in today.

    "Moments like this - this is what I play football for - the biggest moments, the best moments. I'm really happy that we're going through to the next round.

    "Hopefully, we can build on this performance because I still have massive ambitions for this team, and I think we can play even better than what we've shown today."

    Player of the match Rashford was the subject of high praise from team-mate Jude Bellingham, who also highlighted Phil Foden after the Manchester City midfielder marked his first start at the finals with the second goal in Al Rayyan.

    "We've got lots of depth in those attacking areas and whoever comes on always seem to make an impact," the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said. 

    "Whether it's from the start or from the bench, the change of personnel doesn't really affect the style or performance of the team, which is quite rare. 

    "I'm so happy for [Marcus], what a performance - he was brilliant. When he gets the ball and he's got that freedom to take people on.

    "In a game like this, there's big pressure on a free-kick like that, and the way he's delivered is brilliant. He put us in a really good position for the rest of the match.

    "I'm [also] really happy for Phil. He's had quite a bit of pressure on him the last few days, given all the attention. But he's just shown today how good he is again.

    "What you saw in the first game was a really good attacking display. The second game, we defended our box really well and today, you got a mix of both.

    "The aim coming this game was to make sure we tie them both up, and we did. It was a good performance from us."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.