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Tonali: ‘The new Pirlo? Only my hair’

April 6, 2020

Brescia starlet Sandro Tonali believes the only comparison to be made with Andrea Pirlo is their hair, while links to Juventus don’t interest him for now.

The 19-year-old midfielder is one of the most in-demand players this summer, but insists his focus is still on Brescia for now.

Speaking to Corriere Della Sera newspaper, the youngster discussed the comparisions with Andrea Pirlo, life in lockdown and his hopes for Brescia once the season resumes again.

President Massimo Cellino says he considers the season to be over and that if they force you to return to the pitch, the team should be withdrawn?

“I’m with the president. We will only play if and when it is really possible, not a day earlier. I remember the surreal atmosphere of the game with Sassuolo, the last one. It didn’t make sense. We’re talking about deaths, hospitals, health. Football is a party. I may be ready to play, but are people ready to watch? Celebrate a goal? Get angry about a defeat? With what’s going on? Let’s not joke. My family is in Lodi, I live in Brescia. I haven’t seen my dad and mom in two months. Football is one thing, real life is another. ”

Brescia are last in the standings – Some say it’s a convenient move to stay in Serie A?

“I don’t want any gifts. We’re where we are because we deserve it. But health comes first. When we can play, we will play. Behind closed doors, if that is decided. But, you will see, it will be another Brescia. Because we will also play for those who are suffering, for those who have lost family, for those who will not be at the stadium. We’ll give what we couldn’t give so far. Because only those who live in Brescia or Bergamo know what we are going through. It’s like war. From the outside maybe you can not understand. But I think we’re all going to get better from this world emergency.”

Is there anything you’re learning from quarantine, from these new rules of life?

“To give the right weight to things. I live in Cellatica, a town just outside Brescia. Here ambulances are heard at all hours of the day and night, hospitals are in a dramatic situation. I’m lucky to be able to stand next to my girlfriend. We’ve been together for five months. For one of those, we’ve been quarantined. Yesterday we built a tennis court in the garden, putting the net, tracing the lines. Luckily we have a big space.”

How do you keep fit? Some of your colleagues argue that it is impossible, that at most you can limit the damage?

“Giulia and I do what everyone does: video calls, PlayStation, watch the new episodes of The Paper House. I listen to Ultimo, my favorite singer. I keep fit with the programs Mr. Lopez gave us along with his staff. When I need some clarification, some advice, I’ll call them. Sometimes I go to the Center for therapy. I mean, I’m fine. But I can’t help but think about those who suffer. Even to those who do not have a garden or a courtyard. My grandmother in Sant’angelo Lodigiano has been at home for a month. She can’t go to the cemetery to bring flowers to my grandfather. It’s a huge deprivation for her. How can you not think about all this?.”

There has been discussion for weeks about cutting salaries for footballers.

“Everyone has to do their part.”

There is the idea of organizing at the end of the emergency a friendly between Brescia and Atalanta, the match of memory, between the teams of the two cities most affected by Covid-19. A game not to forget. What do you think?

“That, I’m in. It’s a great idea. With the proceeds to be distributed to hospitals, to those who have suffered. It should be organized every year, in the summer. Not to forget. Because when all this hell is over, we won’t forget. But I repeat: I really believe that from all this we will come out better, we must come out better.”

It’ll be summer soon. The next transfer market: Inter, Juve, Chelsea, Manchester United: everyone wants you. Where Are you going?

“I don’t think about it, I don’t care, not now. And I’m not saying that to mislead. I’m interested in completing the season to my best, because I feel I still have a lot to give to Brescia and it’s Brescia who believed in me. Then, we’ll see….”

Club President Masimo Cellino says you’re not for sale for €300million. Among other things at Brescia you arrived for free, at 12 years

“The president loves me, like a son. And I love him very much, he always gives me important advice. I don’t know, it’s a lot of money. It feels a bit strange hearing certain figures, but I’m always quite calm and serene, it’s my quality.”

Is it true that you’re a Milan fan, even if as a child they rejected you during trials?

“Yes, Gattuso was my idol. Today, among players, I’m inspired by Luka  Modric.”

Andrea Pirlo: How do you feel about the fact that they often compare you to him?

“It’s the hair. It does not bother me, but for me it is not a suitable comparison. Having similarities is one thing, but then on the pitch everything is different, Pirlo had a crazy quality. I don’t know many that will reach his level.”

How much did you regret the postponement of the European Championships?

“Little. Because I know we’ll be stronger in a year. We are a beautiful group, young, ambitious, for me to be part of it is a huge pride. What an emotion, the Azzurri. If we grow as an experience, we can only improve. And if we get better, we get really strong.”

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