“I’m very happy. It’s truly a dream come true”.
These were Rafael Toloi’s first words after receiving his first Italy call-up from coach Roberto Mancini.
“Was I expecting this? There had been some talk about it lately. I’ve had Italian citizenship for over ten years, but FIFA gave the go-ahead to be eligible for Italy only a couple of months ago. I’ve made 200 Atalanta appearances and my 200th game was in the Champions League against Real Madrid… I never thought I’d get to where I am today. For this, I have to thank President Percassi and his son Luca who have always made their presence felt, coach Gasperini who made me become a stronger player and my teammates who always supported me. And a special thank you goes to my family and friends, as their support was fundamental. I know there’s a lot of responsibility on me, but I will do my best as always”.