Gnonto on sensational Italy debut: ‘It’s all going so fast’

Willy Gnonto made the perfect Italy debut, as the 18-year-old provided an assist within five minutes against Germany. ‘I didn’t think of anything other than taking the defender on.’

The teenage Inter youth academy product is currently playing for FC Zurich and earned his place in the Azzurri squad for the Nations League.

He made an immediate impact, within five minutes of coming off the bench for Matteo Politano, he whipped in the assist for Lorenzo Pellegrini, before Joshua Kimmich got the equaliser in a final 1-1 result.

Nations League: Italy 1-1 Germany: Azzurri youth impress

“It was a strange and exhilarating week, the coach gave me a chance and I think I made the most of it,” he grinned on RAI Sport.

“It’s all going so fast, I just try to enjoy the moment and every training session, because being here is a privilege.”

Gnonto was born and raised in the Piedmont region, though his parents emigrated from the Ivory Coast.

“I owe everything to my family, as since I was little they made so many sacrifices for me and I try to repay them as best I can. I only hope they are proud of me.”

He caused constant problems for the German defence even after the goal, but described the assist.

“I knew Kehrer was already booked, so when I got the ball, I didn’t think of anything other than taking him on. I was determined to get past him and the ball from that angle is the toughest for a goalkeeper and defender to deal with.

“If you are a striker, you need to make the difference and I did that tonight.”

Although Gnonto is an Inter youth academy product, he had to go out to FC Zurich to get regular playing time.

“I felt very much at home at Inter, but at a certain point you need to make difficult decisions. Fortunately, I had my parents and agents who helped me through the process. It was a risk, but at this age, you’ve got to play.”

The 18-year-old wide attacker has been compared to Lorenzo Insigne, partly due to his height, and confessed he tries to learn from watching Raheem Sterling.

After the 3-0 Finalissima defeat to Argentina at Wembley, Gnonto tried to get a picture with Lionel Messi. Did he manage?

“I tried standing outside the locker room for an hour, but no!”

9 Comments on “Gnonto on sensational Italy debut: ‘It’s all going so fast’”

  1. I think we should stop thinking about winning in all these meaningless friendly matches, Instead lets get as many as possible young guys on the field to play with the big boys, and when the official matches arrive, we will all have rest of mind. The lost points against the Swiss cost Italy the WC. The signs have been coming, but we kept fielding the same players, and it came back to hurt us.

  2. Both can be accomplished. Look at today! Gave debuts to 6 players including an 18 YO. Still complaining?

    Earned a Draw versus a co-favorite for Qatar.

    You do not want to be Relegated to Group B.

    – Each Group A Winner is guaranteed at least a Playoff for EC’24.

    – Losing matches for the sake of it, hurts ranking and the price is paid when Pots are drawn for Qualifiers.

  3. What a terrible squad, most r from middle table and bottom teams, reminding me of Ventura. Biraghi, Politano and Florenzi r all proven average players.
    Sassuolo players r very average. Frattesi is same as Berardi, very unconfident and lack of composure, shoot is the only word in his mind even it’s zero chance to score.

  4. Unfortunately it’s the price paid when the whole of Serie A is overrun with average foreign players!
    Germany are in transition. Argentina are not.
    Good result tonight but meet an inform team we will be turned over just like Argentina did to us.

  5. Too many smug Argentines online after The Finalissma result. Surprising how so many comments were hateful. Italians think highly of Argentines but some comments on their side were shameful. I was shocked.

    For a team to win their first trophy since 1993 they puffed their chest a bit too much.

    They are in form now. But as we saw from the Italy team, that can change in 6 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *