MATTIA DE SCIGLIO has discussed his tattoos, his girlfriend, Italy, Seedorf, Inzaghi and more in a SportWeek interview.
De Sciglio is often referred to as an example of the new Milan that Galliani, Barbara Berlusconi and Silvio Berlusconi are working on: the home-grown Milan with the type of players that make it from the red & black academy to the Gli Azzurri.
Tuttosport reported today that De Sciglio been taken off the market as Pippo Inzaghi considers him a future captain. Mattia, who might be wearing the Rossoneri armband someday, gave an interview to the magazine SportWeek about his life.
“My black widow spider tattoo? I don’t dislike insects. But my girlfriend… If she had noticed it when we met, then she would not have liked it,” De Sciglio, 21, revealed. “I got the black widow spider tattoo when I was 16. I had the desire to get one, and my parents told me that they were okay with it. I found a similar design in a book, on the neck of a girl, and I liked it.
“But I wanted an intimate one – one that wouldn’t be visible to everyone. That’s why I chose to get it on the shoulder. And I won’t let anyone take a photo of it. The illustration of it is three-dimensional, and it looks like it climbs towards the back of my neck. I will get some more tattoos, but not too many. And only on the parts of the body that are hidden by clothes. Will I get a tattoo if we win the World Cup? Ah, then I will get something special. I don’t know what, maybe a phrase, for example.
“If the World Cup is a starting point or an arrival point? A starting point. At my age it can’t be anything else. The opposite would be damaging to myself. But the trip to Brazil means the achievement of an objective that I had set myself at the start of the season, after having played in the Confederations Cup. It fills me satisfaction that I managed to reach this objective after an unfortunate season with many injuries. I want to show I’m not an inconsistent player like I have read in a few places.
“I haven’t played as well as I did in the past seasons because of injuries: it’s tough to be out for a month, get back on track, play one match, and then get injured again. I only lacked the continuity that comes with playing matches. I’m confident in my abilities. If I have more fun when I’m playing as a right back than when I’m playing as left back? If we’re talking about having fun, then it’s better to play on the left side because I have more alternatives. I can go to the backline and cross, or cut inside and shoot with my right foot. I’m more limited in terms of movements and options, when I’m on the right side.
“But I can’t say that I don’t like playing in that position seeing as I’m right-footed. What Brazil is to me? Sea, football and carnival. Last year’s Confederations Cup? It’s better not to think about it. Three days before we were to face Mexico in the first match, we drew against Haiti in a friendly match. We were scheduled to go to Rio de Janeiro and see the Christ Redeemer statue the following day. It was a wonderful day, and we were all excited to admire this wonder, but then when we were having breakfast, Prandelli came to us and said: ‘Guys, seeing as we didn’t deliver a good performance yesterday, we will postpone the trip to tomorrow’. The day after, we woke up and looked at the sky: it was all cloudy. We went there anyway.
“When we arrived at the foot of the Corcovado mountain, we saw that the fog was covering the statue. And Copacabana was just a blurred spot from where we were standing. We went up the mountain, took two photos and then a white cloud coming from the sea covering everything. If I prefer going to the beach or visiting the favelas? If I have to be honest, then I will say Copacabana. But if we had two days off, then I would gladly go to see the favelas. I would like to return to Corcovado, see the Iguazu waterfalls and the islands in front of Rio,” continued De Sciglio, who is a starting player in the eleven of Italy.
“If (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli has allowed us to bring our parents and girlfriends to Brazil (for the WC)? No. My parents are working – my father is the manager of a gym, and my mother is an accountant. My girlfriend got her degree in marketing and communication two months ago, and she’ll start working in an office around the time the World Cup begins.
“How I met my girlfriend (Giulia)? I met her via her father, in Santo Domingo (the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic, Caribbean region). I was on the beach and her father, who is a Milanista, saw me and told her: ‘Look, De Sciglio is here. Go ask him for an autograph’. She then said: ‘Do you really think that you have seen De Sciglio in Santo Domingo? You must be confused!’ Then she saw me walking by and realized that it really was me. She got a photo and an autograph, but I didn’t want to ask her for her phone number in front of her dad. She found me on Facebook, and I did everything from there on.
“My parents taught me always to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when I was a kid. And to always say ‘I would like’ instead of ‘I want’. Of course I also got slapped when I did some stupid things. It was mostly my mother who did it. My father only needed to look at me. If I still say please when I’m in a restaurant? Always. And if I’m speaking with a person who is older than me then I use ‘lei’ (it’s a polite version of ‘you’). Which temptations that I have resisted? All of them,” continued the youngster.
“I have seen my peers throw money away on cars, watches that cost €20.000, jewellery, diamonds and seen them go to night clubs every night. You end up losing your head. What I have bought? I have bought myself a house in Milano.”
“Why I chose football? Because I was born with a football at my feet. My parents still tell me about when they gave me a ball of cloth when I was two years old. Whenever they were sitting on the couch, they could see this little ball rolling around in the hallway and me toddling after it. Then when I was three years old, I would wake up early every Sunday morning and wake my father so that he could take me to the pitch behind my home where there were also two small football goals. My father would then say ‘Mattia, go watch some cartoons and then I will be right with you’. And then he would stay in bed.
“My parents have always given me the freedom to choose what I want to do in life. If I had decided to quit playing football, then the only thing that would have mattered to them would have been my happiness. They both cared about me doing well in school, and so did I. I did everything I could to get my degree, despite playing football, and I managed to do it.
“I got a degree in Tourism for my own pride. What would I have had without that? A high school degree? I won’t even rule out going to a university. I’m still young. Who my room-mate will be in Brazil? We usually have our own rooms on these occasions. But I shared a room with Ignazio Abate (who will start tonight for Italy) during the training camp at Coverciano.
“When I realized that I was a professional player? After the pre-season training camp in 2012. We were five Primavera players who were called up to train with the first team, and in the end Allegri chose me and Valoti. That’s when I realized it. I was fortunate enough to train with players Gattuso, Nesta and Ibrahimovic. I had a lot of respect for them, but no fear.
“Giuseppe Bergomi’s advice about playing with a free mind? He’s right. But it comes easy to me because I’m the type of person who doesn’t feel pressure. It’s obvious that a disappointing season like the one we just had, has a negative effect on your performance, transfer market value and the visibility of all of us. I’m not saying that I want to leave Milan or that I’m asking Milan to create a team that can win. I hope to stay at Milan for as long as possible because I’m from Milano, I live in Milano and I grew up in a club that remains one of the best in the world,” added De Sciglio, who played 21 games last year.
“Seedorf? Perhaps he should have listened to us more in order to try to find a bridge between his working demands and life in the dressing room. What we could have done more? We should have done more on the pitch, both for him and Allegri. The commitment wasn’t missing but the concentration was. It’s true there were some things that we didn’t agree with Seedorf upon. Despite the disagreements the positions remained different, both on things that happened on the pitch and off it.
“What Inzaghi will bring to the team? Enthusiasm, his willpower and new play style ideas.” If both De Sciglio and Abate stay on the team past this summer (both have expressed desire to stay) they will be Inzaghi’s fullbacks next season.