Locatelli: 'A lifetime with Cutrone'
Manuel Locatelli is proud to wear the captain’s armband for the Italy Under-21 side against Russia, joined by Milan teammate Patrick Cutrone.
The Azzurrini take on their Russian counterparts on Tuesday in Frosinone, kicking off at 17.30 GMT.
“It’s always wonderful to wear the captain’s armband for your country,” the Milan midfielder told Rai Sport.
“I thank the Coach for giving me this opportunity. It’ll be tough to make it four wins in a row, but we are in good shape, are training intensively and will give our all so we don’t let down the fans.
“We must play this match without thinking of it as a friendly, because it’s preparation for the European Championships.”
In the Under-21 squad is Locatelli’s club teammate, striker Cutrone.
“We’ve been friends for a lifetime, as we share a room both in the training camp at Milan and on international duty. We get along really well on the pitch, too. We grew up together and made those steps forward to get us to this point.”
Tomorrow evening, the Azzurrini will be in front of the TV cheering on the senior Italy squad in their World Cup play-off with Sweden.
They need to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit and Locatelli’s Milan teammate Leonardo Bonucci will play with a protective mask after fracturing his nose.
“Bonucci is a leader and a fighter. I’m sure he will play on tomorrow and we’ll be there in spirit at San Siro. It’ll be tough, but the crowd will help.”
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