SUNDERLAND attacker Emanuele Giaccherini says he has not abandoned his international ambitions, despite being left out of Italy’s World Cup squad.
It will be painful for the former Juventus midfielder to watch his countrymen take part in football’s showpiece tournament in Brazil over the next few weeks knowing he will not be part of it.
Giaccherini was a member of Italy’s international squad when he made a £6.8million move to Sunderland last summer, but his indifferent debut season in the Premier League saw him cut from Cesare Prandelli’s final 23-man squad for the finals – he did not even make the original 30-man Italian squad.
But the 29-year-old has vowed to remain at Sunderland and make a success of his move to England and also vowed to regain his international place.
“I was getting called-up into the national team until March,” reflected the ex-Juventus man.
“It’s normal that I expected to be in Prandelli’s 30, but the boss made his assessments and I always thank him for what he has done for me
“I’m a bit disappointed because everyone wants to play in the World Cup, but, even though I won’t be on the pitch, I will cheers for Italy and always support the Azzurri.
“I do hope to get back into the national team.
“For me. it’s an honour.”
Giaccherini will be a keen observer this weekend when the Azzuri meet England in Manaus tomorrow night, in what will be the first game for both teams at this summer’s finals.
He said: “Saturday will be a great match because it is two strong teams going head-to-head.
“I hope that Italy win against England because it’s a crucial task to start this World Cup well.
“I think Prandelli will put the best possible selection out – the match will be won in midfield.
“Ciro Immobile could be a surprise because he looks good physically and he is playing at his best.
“Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain are the favourites, but anything is possible because there are lots of important and strong teams. France, Italy and England are just behind.”