Roma legend and former captain Francesco Totti already knew about recent Azzurri addition Mateo Retegui for a few years. Totti spoke with Sky Sports Italia about the new Italy striker, other nationalities in the team and Napoli’s impressive season.
During a Padel tournament in Santa Severa for charity, Totti revealed he has known Retegui for some time and shared a story about how he got to know about the 23-year-old
“I saw him in some videos when he was playing in Argentina, he impressed me on the mental and physical side”, Totti revealed.
“He was still inexperienced, we’re talking about three years ago.” Totti says he didn’t alert Mancini of Retegui, but that he is happy for the Argentina-born striker. “He is a boy who deserves, he has a family behind him that helps him and makes him grow in the best way. I think he has a good future ahead of him.”
Retegui has made two starts for the Azzurri so far and he scored a goal each in his two appearances, creating history in the process.
Against England, Rafael Tolói, Jorginho (both Brazil) and Retegui (Argentina) were in the starting eleven. Totti thinks it is difficult to compare the recent debate about other nationalities in the team to those in his time. “Everyone was from their own country when we played, but now football has changed”, he said. He notes that Mancini at the moment has some troubles. “However, I would strongly focus on the youth sectors of the clubs to develop young talents.”
Totti also talked about Napoli and how he didn’t expect them to perform like this. “I knew it was a good team with a great coach, it was a well-made combination. They expressed themselves at their best in everything and were also lucky because they did not have an opponent behind who can hold their pace. When we were there, there was always Juve, Inter or Milan who were clinging on.”
Napoli already have one hand on the Scudetto and they find themselves 19 points clear of second-placed Lazio and they could seal the title win in April.
Jurre van Wanrooij | GIFN