The Poland international was born and raised in Rome from Polish parents and came up through the youth academy to become a regular for the Giallorossi.
He was in the starting XI for the Conference League Final, which saw them beat Feyenoord 1-0 in Tirana with a Nicolò Zaniolo goal. Was he nervous?
“To be honest, I tried to think about it as little as possible. The emotions were still there, I won’t deny it, in the end all the thoughts were positive and they repaid all the work we’ve done this season. I think we deserved it,” Zalewski told Sky Sport Italia.
How does he play like a veteran, always taking men on with his head held high?
“If I got the ball and played with my head down, I wouldn’t be doing what the coach asks. He wants me to run at opponents and keep my head up, look for the pass. I know I still need to improve defensively, but I’m working on it.”
“The coach simply told me that my opportunity would come and I had to make the most of it, so that’s what I did. I think we all deserved this trophy.”
Zalewski suffered heartache too last year, losing his father after a long illness, and it was for him that he chose to play international football for Poland. Who would the 20-year-old thank today as he lifted that trophy?
“If I had to name one person, it’d be the coach. If I could name many, it’d be all my teammates, the club and those who stood by me. I hope this is just the beginning.”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 25, 2022