Gnonto: ‘My dream is to play for Barcelona’

Breakout Azzurri starlet Wilfried Gnonto revealed his dream of playing for Barcelona and his career origins with Inter.

The 18-year-old Italian forward earnt a call-up to Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad following a strong season in Switzerland with FC Zurich, where he scored 10 goals and provided five assists in 35 appearances. Gnonto immediately shined on his debut, providing the assist in a tough 1-1 draw with Germany. He later scored in the 5-2 defeat to Hansi Flick’s team.

Speaking to Sport Week, Gnonto first discussed his desire to play for Barcelona one day.

“My dream is to play for Barcelona. Messi is my idol, even now that he is at PSG. He made so many sacrifices from the beginning, his family has always supported him and he never forgets his origins.

“He’s a quiet guy, he hasn’t gotten too big-headed; I see myself in him. On the pitch, then, he is unique.”

The 18-year-old Italian forward then looked back at his time with Inter and how he began supporting the club after joining.

“It was there that I met the man who is now my best friend in football: Elio Zalli, a forward like me, even if his feet are a bit like that. Now he’s at Sassuolo, we talk all the time. When I arrived in Milan I wasn’t a fan, for me there was only Barcelona and Messi.

“Then I became fond of the Nerazzurri, and sometimes I even cried. On the occasion of Inter-Juve in April 2018, for example: the match of Pjanic’s missed sending off for the foul on Rafinha. I was at the San Siro with a friend of mine, and when Higuain scored with a few minutes to go we burst into tears. That night I became an Interista for real.”

Finally, Gnonto commented on his early life and his pride at his mother’s hard work.

“I’m not embarrassed to talk about when my mother used to put aside tips to get petrol and take me to training, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. As a child, however, I didn’t realise what my parents did for me, now I can understand it and I’m grateful. I thanked them.”

Following his incredible Azzurri debut, Gnonto attracted the attention of a number of clubs around Europe and he could leave FC Zurich as he looks to continue his development.

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