Aston Villa and Italy star Nicolo Zaniolo has hit back on critics, calling out the media’s portrayal of him as someone who doesn’t show respect to those around him.
Zaniolo joined Villa recently from Galatasaray, who he had joined from Roma last January. The end of his time at Roma became controversial, as Roma fans displayed banners against him and some fans had also arrived outside his home, forcing the player to relocate back to his hometown before he left the Giallorossi.
After criticism surrounding his performance against North Macedonia, Zaniolo impressed against Ukraine. After the game, he spoke to TMW about whether the game against Ukraine could be a new starting point for him.
The Italian said: “I don’t think I’ve ever stopped. I always do what the coach asks of me and I always make myself available. Many times I’m labeled by you as a person who doesn’t show respect outside the pitch but that’s not the case. Absolutely, I always make myself available and it’s always been like this in all the teams I’ve played for. I’m really happy with this match and I don’t feel like talking about the rest.”
He was also asked about whether the role on the right flank is the best for him and his future. He said: “I can play winger, attacking midfielder or midfielder. But at the moment this is the role I know how to do best. I still need something to improve, but with the coach who told me so many things about the defensive and offensive phases on the pitch I felt at I’m comfortable. I’m happy with this performance.”
Zaniolo has already made his debut for Aston Villa and has made two appearances so far, but he hasn’t impressed too much. But as the season goes on, we could see more flashes of brilliance from him.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN