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Wearside's Giacc joined to further his World Cup chances
EMANUELE GIACCHERINI revealed he moved to Sunderland to improve himself as a player and to strengthen his claims for a place in Italy's World Cup squad.
The 28-year old playmaker was a £6.5million signing for Paolo Di Canio, and scored his first goal in English football on Saturday at Southampton where Sunderland drew 1-1.
And, while Giaccherini admitted it would take time for him to make the necessary adjustment from Serie A football to the English game, he feels Wearside is the best location for him to stay in Cesare Prandelli's thoughts for Rio in nine months' time.
The attacking midfielder has made 15 appearances for the Azzuri and revealed that Prandelli advised him to leave Juventus for Sunderland.
“I called the Mister (the boss) and I said I was coming here and he wished me the best of luck. And he told me if I continue like this (to play) there wouldn't be any problems,” said Giaccherini.
“I have always been a big fan of English football because it is a spectacular type of football. The fans are fantastic, there is massive respect. The people come to the stadiums to watch the football and the support the teams. After the game, there isn't the same pressure. On the other hand, in Italy, there is a lot of pressure and also sometimes not nice things happen.
“And also the chance to be a regular starter. At Juventus, I didn't have that because there were a lot of important players in front of me. I have put myself at the disposal of the coach for this project and I am happy to be part of it.”
Di Canio feels that Giaccherini, his marquee signing of a busy summer, can be a key performer for Italy over the next few years.
He said: “He's one of the positive guys in the national team. That's clear. Prandelli brought him in because he is versatile, he can play as the fifth man in a midfield five, he can cover the line, up and down, more expansive, it's a big occasion for him to play here as it's a tough, tough league and it can help him to be ready for the next World Cup.
“Only the future knows if he has a chance. In England we have to work so hard, it's a big opportunity for him. He's going to give his best.
“Since day one he's talking to us in English, to try go everywhere with a book, that gives you an idea of the lad, he's intelligent. He wants to integrate here, he's going to link well with the English players, he's intelligent away from the pitch and that reflects on the pitch.”
Giaccherini showed such intelligence to score his maiden goal in English football, stooping to head past Artur Boruc from Seb Larsson's whipped corner, after shuffling backwards to lose his defensive markers.
And the winger said: “It is not the biggest strength in my game but it went well. I am happy to score. I've only ever scored two with my head. At Southampton and once three years ago at Cesena.
“We have had only two games and you need a bit of time because English football is a football different from what I played last season. So I am sure I can do well here but I have to work and in a bit of time I am sure I will play even even better.
“English football is a lot quicker and certainly more aggressive, also less technical but certainly more aggressive and certainly you have to have a different mentality to what there is in Italy.
“To leave a club like Juventus is always difficult - they are a club at the top of world football. But there are the World Cup finals to come, I want to play, I want to have my time in another football league.”
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