Lucas Beltran explained why he chose Fiorentina over Roma and Real Madrid, and he discussed the decision to play for Argentina instead of Italy.

The 22-year-old forward joined the Viola from River Plate last summer in a deal worth around €12.6m, penning a five-year contract with the club. He’s shown a number of positives over his first six months in Italy, scoring eight goals across 32 matches.

Beltran had the opportunity to play for both the Argentina and Italy national teams, and he ultimately chose the former. He still hasn’t made his first appearance for the senior side yet, but is expected to break into the squad in the coming months.

Speaking to Eurosport, Beltran first discussed his decision to pick Argentina over Italy.

“Yes, it was a possibility. The two call-ups arrived at the same time, that of Scaloni and that of Mancini.

“I had to make a decision. I chose the Argentina squad for my family, I’m from there, it was a feeling very intimate and personal, but the chance to play with the Azzurri shirt was there. They called me from Italy, but then I chose with my heart.”

He commented on his decision to join Fiorentina last summer instead of Roma or Real Madrid.

“It’s true, Roma, Fiorentina and Real Madrid contacted me. I chose Florence because I felt it. One day I woke up and told my brother ‘I want to go to Fiorentina’. It was the club that showed the most interest in me, they really wanted me.

“And then I liked the city, the sports centre, Viola Park, how the people live. It’s beautiful, so I’m very happy here. I think I made a good decision.

“Commisso? The president is always very present with us. He almost always talks to us before important matches, in the locker room.”

Finally, Beltran discussed his goals with Fiorentina this season.

“I think that, first of all, we must keep our feet on the ground, work with humility and sacrifice, to try to finish as high in the table as possible.

“We’re talking about having a better season than last year, we will try to give everything we have at our disposal. Europa League? That’s the goal, yes.”

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