As the international break winds down and players return to their clubs, Federico Bernardeschi continues to impress. Following a strong display off the bench against Slovenia for the Azzurini, the young attacker is back in Florence and ready for the match against Genoa.
Although the Italians were not at their best in the qualifier, Bernardeschi was easily the best player on the field, scoring a second-half penalty won by Nicola Murru and generally the only player looking to make things happen.
In a post-match interview with Radio Blu, Berna opened up about his playing style for club and country, the responsibilities he feels, and playing under Sousa. About the Azzurini, he said highlighted the emotions that come with wearing Italy's shirt, while also emphasizing that the U21s are still learning.
He next addressed his shirt number, 10 for both club and country. "It is an honor. It's an important number, and has important responsibilities." He maintained the same idea even when the subject changed: "The modern game requires [sacrifice]. You can't just stand in one half of the field." On whether or not he'll play against Genoa, he cracked, "Surely I have so many responsibilities, I'll have a place every week. I'm do my best in training to play on Sunday."
"He's an extraordinary player; he's returning from injury but will be important, and we'll have fun for sure," was the response to a question about Babacar. Berna then gave a little glimpse at what makes him tick: "We play for them [the fans]. Especially the kids. If there is a chance to do some autographs, more must be done."
So everyone who didn't love Bernardeschi already had better revise that opinion stat. He's obviously ready to do what it takes to win, as shown by his repetition of the themes of sacrifice and honor, but his exuberance to be playing is pretty awesome, too; he wants to have fun, tear things up with Babacar, and stay in Florence. Oh yeah, he's loyal, too. "I made a choice with my heart for Florence, and it's my choice." If he's done anything that doesn't make him Fiorentina's long-term 10 and possible future captain, I can't think of it. He is, to quote Grace the secretary, "A righteous dude."