Sassuolo striker Francesco Caputo admits his Italy snub for EURO 2020 was hard to accept but believes he can earn a spot on the team for the 2022 World Cup.
Caputo, 33, has two Italy caps to his name and made his senior Azzurri debut in October 2020. However, he hoped he could earn a call-up into Italy’s squad for UEFA Euro 2020 after scoring 11 goals in 25 Serie A appearances with Sassuolo last term.
“I am not going to line, I thought about it more than once, especially on July 11 because I am not going to win another European trophy in my career,” the Sassuolo striker told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I was there until March, it was not easy to absorb this thing. I thought it was possible [to earn a spot]. I don’t know what Mancini thought, but I want to thank him anyway.
“He gave me my senior Azzurri debut and there were three of my teammates at Wembley, so that helped me ease my disappointment,” Caputo continued.
However, with the 2022 World Cup just around the corner, the 33-year-old hopes to be part of the team.
“I will never stop dreaming, I’ll be as motivated as ever to take my place,” he ensured.
The Neroverdi begin 2021-22 with Alessio Dionisi in the dug-out after that Roberto De Zerbi joined Shakhtar.
“De Zerbi was crucial for my development,” Caputo admitted.
“It’s still early to judge Dionisi, but I can see the same characteristics of the ‘old’ Sassuolo. We want to keep the ball possession for as long as possible and control the games.”
His teammates Manuel Locatelli, Domenico Berardi and Giacomo Raspadori won the Euros with Italy, attracting interest from several top clubs. Does Caputo think they’ll leave Sassuolo in the summer?
“There are still here and I hope they will stay. I am sure that, if they leave, the club will sign players who can replace them. Sassuolo have always wanted to improve over the last few seasons.”