Gatti ‘didn’t sleep much’ ahead of Italy debut against England

Federico Gatti admits he ‘didn’t sleep much’ in the build-up to his Italy debut in a 0-0 draw with England, but the former builder and supermarket worker kept his nerve. ‘I don’t look anyone in the face.’

The Azzurri held England to a goalless stalemate at Molineux in Wolverhampton this evening, confirming their status at the top of the Nations League group.

Gatti has never even made his Serie A debut, but was thrown into the starting XI for his first Italy match and played the full 90 minutes.

At the final whistle, he ran around giving bear-hugs to everyone in sight, including coach Roberto Mancini and assistant manager Daniele De Rossi.

“I was playing in Serie B this season, so being there with players who are in the Champions League, it was a bit nerve-wracking, but I shook it off and played the way I do even in the lower divisions. I don’t look anyone in the face, I just go for it,” Gatti told RAI Sport.

“I had an inkling that I would play, so I didn’t sleep much the last few days! I hope for many more of these days.”

Italy are making a generational shift in this tournament and blooding many new young players, but are also unbeaten with a win over Hungary, draws against Germany and England.

“We had a great game in my view, created important chances in the first half and kept a clean sheet. I live for these games, the emotions are too much. England have very strong players, I tried to give my best.”

Gatti will be at Juventus next season, who left him on loan at Frosinone in Serie B after the January purchase.

“I dedicate this game to my family and my girlfriend, who are always by my side.”