Roma sensation, 18, speaks out after rejecting invitation to play at World Cup
Roma’s teenage sensation Cristian Volpato has spoken out after rejecting Australia’s offer to play for them at the Qatar World Cup.
Volpato, 18, has become the name on everyone’s lips in Serie A after scoring and assisting in his first league game of the season against Hellas Verona. He was then trusted enough by Jose Mourinho to be brought on as an impact substitute during the Derby della Capitale at the weekend.
His rising stardom has already caught the eye of Australia national team manager Graham Arnold, who offered him a place in his 26-man squad for the World Cup.
READ MORE: Australia manager leaves his own 58-time capped son-in-law out of World Cup squad
But Arnold later revealed that his offer was declined by the wonderkid, saying: “I pretty much told him yesterday he was in the 26-man squad. He wanted to go away and think about it. He wanted to speak to the people around him that helped guide his career.”
“And he came back last night and declined the offer to come and play for Australia at the World Cup. That’s his decision at the end of the day.”
Volpato, who was born and raised in Australia before joining Roma in 2020, has represented Italy’s u20s this year. And he claimed he would not be “rushing” his decision to join the Socceroos despite being granted a seat on the plane to Qatar.
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Volpato wrote on Instagram: “I’ve seen lots of speculation about decisions I have supposedly taken at international level: the truth is I am just at the start of my professional career and I am totally focused on continuing that process at Roma.
“Making any sort of rushed decision about my international future at this early stage risks being extremely premature.
“There will be plenty of time for me to make the decision that feels right for me, but right now I know my focus needs to be continuing to work hard each and every day in order to continue improving as a player.”
Despite the snub, Arnold will not rule out a future invitation, saying: “Cristian is a great kid. It's an extremely difficult decision for the kid to make and he's got people around him who have given him advice. He wants to make this big decision when there are two countries he can play for in Australia and Italy.
“He made that decision and he declined our opportunity to come and play for Australia at the World Cup. It doesn't mean that he won't do that in the future.”
Australia will kick off their World Cup campaign on November 22 by taking on defending champions France.
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