Monza attacker Andrea Petagna sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 18 to speak about the impact that his Grandfather had on him becoming a football player, his career to date, and the decisions that led him to join the club this past summer.
Grandfather Francesco Petagna
Andrea Petagna’s grandfather, Francesco, played 250 matches in the top flight with Triestina. As a coach, he led SPAL for five consecutive seasons in Serie A, launching many talents, among them the hugely successful Fabio Capello.
“My granddad was the first person besides my dad who got me into football. We’d go down to the park and he’d tell me to keep hitting it against the wall because you have to work on improving your technique. I always wanted to use the big balls from Serie A and he’d tell me I had to master the small one first…”
Football Career to Date
Later, as a grandad, Francesco became little Andrea’s mentor. The first of a long series that includes Massimiliano Allegri, who gave the forward his Serie A and Champions League debuts… Then Gian Piero Gasperini, who kept him on track after disappointing spells in the lower divisions. And more recently Luciano Spalletti, who guided him during his last season at Napoli.
“I’ve had lots of coaches and they’ve all been important for my career, like a constant learning curve. At SPAL Semplici helped me score lots and I get on very well with Palladino. All my coaches have been important…”
Signing for Monza
After having come close to the Scudetto with the Partenopei, Andrea Petagna is now battling against relegation with Monza, just as he did at Spal. Though only 27, it’s now his turn to be the mentor for a young team making their debut in Serie A.
“I joined Monza mainly because of Galliani and Berlusconi. Galliani knew me when I was a kid and he gave me my first contract at AC Milan. On an organizational level, Monza is like Milan- it helps you perform at your best on the pitch… On our lockers, we have this quote from Galliani: ‘We took 110 years to reach Serie A.
We can’t go back down to Serie B after just one.’… I haven’t really proved myself yet but I’m working very hard because I want to show what I can do in the second half of the season and repay Galliani for his faith in me…”