Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Italy’s New Striker Mateo Retegui: Bringing the Harry Kane Spirit to the Azzurri

harry kane sister

Football is a sport that constantly surprises us, and Italy’s national team selection for the upcoming match against England is no exception. Coach Roberto Mancini has made an unexpected choice by including Argentine-born striker Mateo Retegui in the squad. As the Azzurri face off against the Three Lions, Retegui’s presence adds a touch of intrigue and excitement to the game.

A Fusion of Cultures: The Argentine Connection

It’s not unusual for Italy to call upon the talents of South American players. Thanks to the millions of Italian immigrants who settled in South America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, there is a strong Italian connection in the region. Players with Italian heritage have represented Italy successfully throughout history, especially those born in Argentina.

Buenos Aires, often considered the most Italian city outside of Italy, has a rich cultural blend of Italian and Spanish influences. The local version of Spanish even carries a distinct Italian intonation. If Retegui makes his debut against England, he will be the 24th Argentine player to proudly wear the blue shirt of Italy.

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A Unique Journey: From Hockey to Football

Mateo Retegui’s path to the Italian national team is unlike that of his compatriots. While many South American players move to Italy to play club football before representing the Azzurri, Retegui’s connection to Italy lies solely through his maternal grandmother. Born and raised in Argentina, he has had a purely Argentine football upbringing, with a fascinating twist.

Hockey is a popular sport in Argentina, and Retegui comes from a family deeply rooted in the game. His mother was a prominent youth player in the 1990s, and his sister even won an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo as part of the Argentine women’s hockey team. However, Mateo chose a different path, dedicating himself to football after spending some time in the sport that runs in his family’s blood.

A Rising Talent: The Argentine Harry Kane

Retegui’s football career began at River Plate, where he initially learned the ropes before turning professional with Boca Juniors, one of the most renowned clubs in Argentina. Although he is still owned by Boca, his first-team experience has been limited so far, with only a few minutes off the bench back in November 2018.

However, it was during his loan spells at Estudiantes and Talleres that Retegui truly started to shine. Last year, he made a move to Tigre, a club located in the northern suburbs of Buenos Aires, near his hometown. Since then, goals have flowed consistently for the young striker.

Comparisons have already been made between Retegui and England’s Harry Kane, and they are not unfounded. Like Kane, Retegui is two-footed, strong on the ball, and possesses a natural goal-scoring ability both on the ground and in the air. Additionally, both players experienced wandering loan spells before establishing themselves as late developers in the world of football.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How did Mateo Retegui end up getting called up for the Italian national team?
A: Despite being born and raised in Argentina, Retegui is eligible to play for Italy through his maternal grandmother, who has Italian heritage.

Q: Is Mateo Retegui related to the successful Argentine field hockey player Micaela Retegui?
A: Yes, Micaela Retegui is Mateo’s sister. She won an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo playing for the Argentine women’s hockey team.

Q: What clubs has Mateo Retegui played for so far in his career?
A: Retegui has played for River Plate, Boca Juniors, Estudiantes, Talleres, and currently represents Tigre.

Conclusion

As Italy prepares to face England, all eyes will be on Mateo Retegui, the Argentinian-born striker who adds a unique flavor to the Azzurri squad. With his impressive skills and the spirit of Harry Kane within him, Retegui has the potential to make a significant impact on the game. The fusion of cultures and his rise from a hockey background only add to the intrigue surrounding this talented player. The football world waits in anticipation to see if Retegui can make his mark in the blue shirt of Italy.

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