Dual nationality attacker Cristian Volpato’s allegiance to Italy has gathered momentum, with the Sydney-raised youngster scoring for the Aurruzzini against Romania at the Euro U-19 Championships in Slovakia on Sunday.
The Roma fledgling struck the winner in Italy’s group opener, 10 minutes after emerging from the bench in place of playmaker Tommaso Baldanzi just past the hour mark.
VOLPATO ON RISE FOR ITALY
- Roma whizkid Cristian Volpato netted his maiden goal for Italy against Romania after coming off the bench at the Euro U-19 Championship.
- Volpato has been courted by Football Australia but looks to have cemented a future with the Azzurr instead.
- The teenager has made three Serie A appearances for Roma and three for the nation of his lineage.
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Former Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers junior Volpato has been on the green and gold radar since making the first of three Serie A appearances for Jose Mourinho’s men six months back.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold held discussions with Volpato’s father Oscar, an Italian immigrant to Australia, earlier this year over his son’s international intentions.
But with Roma, and Volpato’s agent - Italy legend Francesco Totti - nudging him in the direction of the country he now calls home, the winger cum number 10, now looks almost certainly lost to Australia, barring a shock call-up for November-December’s World Cup in Qatar.
A star for Roma’s Primavera side in his debut season, Volpato, 18, flicked the ball home from close range to get Italy’s campaign off to a winning start ahead of Tuesday’s duel against the host nation and Friday’s clash with France.
It was Volpato’s third appearance for Italy, after previously making his debut in a friendly against Norway in March, and marks an evolving attachment to the nation where he has a legion of relatives, including his grandparents.
He cemented a budding mutual admiration with the fans of La Magica by coming on score in the 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona in February, and is expected to see more game time in 2022-2023.
Volpato last appeared in a Serie A game on May 14, playing seven minutes in the 1-1 draw with Venezia.
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