Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi revealed how he his grandmother compares him with Juventus legend Claudio Marchisio and what it was like to meet his idol. The 22-year-old has had a stellar season under new Sassuolo coach Alessio Dionisi, inevitably attracting the attention of clubs like Inter, Milan and Juventus.
Speaking with Turin based newspaper Tuttosport, Frattesi first looked back at his season with the Neroverdi, starting with his goal against the Bianconeri:
The first thing that comes to mind is the first leg in Turin. My goal, the victory at the stadium and the thought of my grandfather Carmine, who was a die-hard Juventino.
That goal was my biggest emotion on the pitch along with the 3-2 goal scored in the 95th minute with Empoli in the derby at Pisa’s stadium in 2019, after we had conceded 2-2 in the 93rd minute.
Sassuolo is a club not too pressured about results and this helps to work well, especially the youngsters. It’s a perfect place to grow, the rest depends on the individual. I’ve always been hungry, ever since I was a kid I’ve always told everyone that I wanted to get to the top and even now I want to try to get higher and higher.
Claudio Marchisio? One of the first times I was called up for the first team at Roma, we went to warm up in groups of three and the Bianconeri players did the same, when it was my turn there was Marchisio. My grandmother Stefania had been making me collages with photos of me and him, saying you look the same!
I replied that she was saying that because she saw me with the eyes of love. Once there, with the idol of a lifetime, perhaps even more of my grandmother than mine, I went to ask him for his shirt.
It was a great emotion, I had only played in the Primavera, but he told me straight away that he would give it to me at the end of the game and at the final whistle, even though I lost, he came straight to me.
I took the shirt and didn’t know what to do. I thought: ‘He won’t want mine, what’s he going to do with it?’ Instead he asked me for it. We’ve kept in touch and I still hear from him, you rarely meet people of that calibre in football. We all know the player.
I can see myself in him a little, there is something similar. Talking to him I also found out that we both spent a year at Empoli, but I certainly have to continue to work hard. He had a very important career, he was one of the strongest Italian midfielders. I must work to try to emulate him one day.
A Juventus move? It certainly gives me pleasure, that’s for sure, but now is not the time to think about such things. I’m only thinking about finishing the season well, then this summer we’ll see.
My grandfather would have felt bad, like when I scored that goal. I would have had to take away his television, telephone, newspapers… although it would have been hard because he woke up so early. I’m sure it would have been great for him.
He was the first person who believed in me, as a child he used to hang his report card on my door after every game.
Once when I came back from a trip with the national Under-17 team, in which I had scored the decisive goal against Georgia to qualify for the European Championship, he was there at the airport with a huge Italian flag, almost in tears with happiness.
It would have been nice to be able to give him some emotions. It is a regret that I have, but unfortunately this is also life.
Playing in the Premier League? I’d like that, it’s a league I can see myself in. But it’s a step to take in two or three years, after I’ve established myself. But it’s a league that fascinates me a lot, also because it doesn’t have too many tactics, where you go back and forth for ninety minutes and I like that idea.
Then Gianluca Scamacca, who was in Holland, told me that abroad they have a different way of approaching football. It would be nice to get to know a new culture.”