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From the pride of azzurri’s U21 captain armband to the rage of the technical commissioner towards him. The week of Manuel Locatelli in Nazionale has been a journey of divergent emotions.
Today La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the outburst of Luigi Di Biagio, coach of the Italian Under 21 team, at the end of the friendly match in Frosinone against Russia, won 3-2 in the last minutes by the azzurri. The object of his anger was precisely Locatelli, AC Milan’s young playmaker, guilty for being too slow in preparing to enter the match and delaying the substitution with his teammate.
It all happened in the last minutes of the friendly Italy-Russia. Manuel Locatelli warms up and approaches the bench to undress his training suit and prepare to enter the match. In the meantime, the Azzurri scored with Orsolini the decisive goal for the final 3-2 result and wasted some time between celebration and compliments. Di Biagio shortly afterwards calls Locatelli to enter but the rossonero was not ready, he must still wear his shorts and protective gear, so his blows the substitution. By the time he was ready to enter the referee blows the whistle and ends the match, causing the wrath of the coach.
In the dressing room Di Biagio is infuriated: he loudly criticizes the cadent attitude of Locatelli in front of everyone, implying that he does not tolerate even in friendly games and in the closing minutes a distracted behavior by his young players. If it would have been an official and decisive match, Di Biagio probably would have excluded Locatelli categorically, but that outburst will surely serve as a lesson for the young rossonero and his peers.