Joao Pedro: ‘I’d be lying if I said Italy talk wasn’t pleasing’

Cagliari striker Joao Pedro admits he’d ‘be a liar if I said it wasn’t pleasing’ to be considered for the Italy squad. ‘Sardinia is my home, this country gave me everything.’

The Brazilian has Italian citizenship, as he is married to an Italian and their children were all born in Sardinia, while the 29-year-old has been playing at Cagliari since 2014.

It was reported this week that Roberto Mancini is considering a call-up for Joao Pedro, considering the lack of alternatives in the forward roles.

Mancini considers Joao Pedro and Lucca for Italy

“I’d be a liar if I said that it wasn’t pleasing,” Joao Pedro told Sky Sport Italia after scoring in Cagliari’s 2-2 draw with Sassuolo.

“We are talking about the best national team in history, a country that welcomed me and gave me everything I have, while Sardinia is my home.

“It is truly pleasing. I certainly wasn’t expecting it and don’t think frankly I deserve it either, but this must mean I’ve done something right.

“Now is the time to think about Cagliari, because the team is struggling and I must give my all for this club, then we’ll see.”

The goal celebration after his penalty today seemed to be a signal for his children, showing how to feed a baby. Does his native Italian family have anything to say about this potential Azzurri call-up?

“Everyone in my home was born in Italy. We are happy, it’s difficult to explain the sensation. Obviously, I was born in Brazil, but everything I achieved and was given to me was in Italy, including my wife and children.

“It might not even happen, we’ll see in future, but it feels very special even like this.”

7 Comments on “Joao Pedro: ‘I’d be lying if I said Italy talk wasn’t pleasing’”

  1. I really really hope Mancini doesn’t call up another Brazilian player. What is the point of having international football, if we simply choose which nationality a player can be to suite our needs

  2. Everything falls on Mancini…He’s just not picking the best team with all these very compitent players he has at his disposal….He needs to be critical in these upcoming matches or esle they will fail to qualify again for the WC.. it would be disasterous….

  3. Enough with the talk of bringing in Balottelli and others from what has been. The pars strikers never really delivered and neither have the present. I do not envy Mancini Italy needs a striker but let’s not panic and grasp the past in the hope of moving forward. Unfortunately young Italians don’t get to play in Italy. There are young strikers for the future but they will not develop hugging the bench.

  4. @Peter. I am conflicted on this. On the one hand I agree with everything you said. It does make a mockery of the International game, the competion between different cultures and footballing styles. Yet on the other, I really appreciate the passion and gratitude that players such as Joao Pedro and Jorginho show towards Italy; how they have settled in and not only embraced Italian football, but also the culture.

    Where I’m living right now, I am finding a lot of people who despise the country and culture in which they were born into. They slate it at every opportunity while at the same time taking full advantage of its opportunities and carving out a very comfortable living for themselves. They focus always on the negatives, which EVERY country, has and have had. This is often contrasted by the immigrants living here who truy appreciate the relative freedoms and opportunities they have.

    In many ways I would rather have someone playing for my country who genuinely loves it, than those who don’t. Pdero does tick a lot of boxes. He’s been in Italy for quite some time, is an Italian citiizen, has married into an Italian family, he loves the country and he is a decent player.

    This is a very different case to Ibanez who essentially said that he would consider Italy if a Brazilian call up is not forthcoming.

  5. If he’s good enough Mancini should call him up. Italy have a massive problem in attack. No really outstanding strikers coming through the ranks, Lucca plays in Serie B he needs experience playing at a higher level before playing for the main team.
    Immobile is better a club football but he’s not good enough for international. Belotti…well he isn’t good enough at either. Forget Balotelli he’s finished.

  6. I have a theory, I have noticed since Mancini took charge Italy has been playing similar to how the Spanish and Brazilians play. Mancini is calling up Italo Brazilians who I believe will help install that play style for future generations. The days of Catenaccio are obsolete in some ways.

  7. Mancini is a fool of he doesn’t pick this guy, he’s exactly what we need! Forget Immobile, Insigne & Bellotti, these guys are just pretenders. This guy wants to play for us & he has great passion for Mighty Italy & he’s a great striker& playmaker so why shouldn’t he play for us?
    Look at France without all their African players, France wouldn’t even be on the Football map.
    So get it done before Brazil call this guy up!!!

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