Gigio Donnarumma was not at his best during Italy’s last two games, mirroring a difficult debut season at PSG.
The 23-year-old left Milan at the end of his contract in June, signing a new four-year deal with the Ligue 1 giants but things are not going as the Italy international expected less than a year ago.
Gigio hasn’t been a regular starter at the Parc des Princes collecting 19 appearances across all competitions. He has conceded 17 goals so far, keeping eight clean sheets. He hit rock bottom in the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 against Real Madrid two weeks ago, by giving away the ball inside the box, leading to Karim Benzema’s equaliser.
Mauricio Pochettino defended him, saying that the France striker had fouled the goalkeeper, but Gigio continued to receive criticism in Italy and France.
It hasn’t been an easy season for the 23-year-old, who appeared to be at fault for Turkey’s two goals against Italy last night. Many also debated over North Macedonia’s winner on Thursday saying that the 23-year-old moved too slowly trying to catch the ball on his right.
“We wanted to participate in the World Cup, to experience the extraordinary emotions that these competitions can give, to give smiles to the Italians who accompanied us a few months ago to the conquest of the European Championship,” he wrote on his social media a few days ago.
“Unfortunately it will not be like that, we are very disappointed and we know how much all Italians are, just like us.
“But we also know that in football, as in life, you have to look ahead and get back in the game. Our task is to bring the national team back to where it deserves to be and to build, step by step, a winning future. Forza Azzurri.”
Donnarumma had been booed on his first match at San Siro in November when the Azzurri hosted Spain in the Nations League semi-finals. The goalkeeper reportedly broke to tears inside the dressing room and is probably facing the most challenging moment in his career right now. As La Gazzetta dello Sport noted today, ‘Gigio must react’ being one of Italy’s most valuable assets and a key player in the future of La Nazionale.