Alessandro Florenzi and Federico Bernardeschi outlined the horrible experiences they encountered with social media. ‘A 10-year-old boy said he hoped I would die.’
As part of the documentary series Sogno Azzurro following the Italy side going into Euro 2020, the players were interviewed on the world of social media.
“I remember receiving a message, I clicked on it, and it said ‘I hope you die.’ I looked at the account and it was a kid, he was 10 years old, at most 13, honestly,” said Roma and PSG full-back Florenzi.
“I couldn’t believe it. Why would a child wish death upon me? I hope he feels better now having said that, but he ruined my day, frankly. I got others that were similar, saying they wished I would break a leg or end up in a wheelchair.
“I hope they now know that it won’t make a difference. I am centred. I will not budge.”
Juventus player Bernardeschi is often targeted for insults on social media, but he says the real world is very different.
“There was this guy who was always at the training ground, a fan, asking for autographs. Every time he spoke to me, he’d give me lots of compliments,” explained Bernardeschi.
“One day, I recognised his photograph from a social media account and he was aiming all sorts of negative things at me. That shows you it’s a parallel world, because sitting behind a keyboard gives you this bravery that when you are eye to eye, it disappears.”