Fiorentina‘s Lorenzo Venuti is living a dream by representing his boyhood club and native city in Serie A.
Venuti, 26, has had loan spells at Brescia, Benevento, and Lecce in the past, but is now featuring for La Viola in the top flight, and still at times has to pinch himself.
“As I’ve always said, it’s something I’m proud of,” Venuti told Fiorentina’s in-house media channels. “It’s hard to put into words how proud it makes me feel. Representing my city, being seen as an icon… it’s a dream come true for me.
“Having said that, it can get too much – I know that. Sometimes people look at me as ‘Lollo from Florence’ or ‘Lollo who came up through the youth ranks and they forget about Lollo the player.
“I’m a player too. I don’t just represent Florence because I put my heart and soul into it. I have technical, physical, and tactical attributes. People are free to debate those – no doubt about that.
“I’ll always put Florence on a pedestal. I’ll always have good things to say about it, and I enjoy talking about it, but I realise that it can get a bit too much at times.”
Venuti, though enjoying his time at Fiorentina, did admit that the life of a footballer isn’t always easy.
“Everybody knows that people try and get close to you when you’re a footballer,” Venuti said. “People want to start fake friendships, friendship with something in return. That’s always there – part of the game.
“The life of a footballer is monotonous, unfortunately. People tend to focus on the good things about footballers’ lives, which is fair enough.
“There is a lot of sacrifice that goes into it too, though – an awful lot. When you get to this level, your life is just matches, training, and home. You don’t get time for anything else.
“Players are often seen as machines. Journalists criticise you because they think you’re a machine that doesn’t have feelings. We’re human beings and we pick up on things. Lots of players have a tough time because of it.
“I think it’s important for players to find something away from football that distracts them and makes life less monotonous. It helps to lighten the load and take your mind off things.”