Spezia attacker Daniele Verde was exclusively interviewed by TLN TV to discuss his arrival at the club, his relationship with the supporters, his favourite memories at the Stadio Alberto Picco, his wonder goal against Lazio, the possibility of playing for Napoli or in Major League Soccer, swapping jerseys with Lionel Messi, and much more.
Signing for Spezia
Verde officially signed for Spezia back in July 2021 from AEK Athens following a one-year loan spell in Liguria during the club’s first-ever season in Serie A. He has since scored 21 goals and provided 9 assists in 76 appearances (as of March 2023).
“IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS A DIFFERENT TYPE OF ‘CLUB’ AND THERE WAS A DIRECTOR WHO WANTED ME STRONGLY. FOR ME THESE ARE THE BASICS MEANING THAT IF SOMEONE STRONGLY WANTS YOU IT’S DIFFICULT TO REFUSE NO MATTER WHAT.”
Relationship With Supporters
The 26-year-old has a terrific relationship with the fanbase. Last year, he made a promise to the fans – he said that if Spezia didn’t get relegated that he would dye his beard white.
“SINCE I CAME HERE THREE YEARS AGO, IT’S LIKE I HAD LIVED HERE FOR A LONG TIME. I IMMEDIATELY FOUND A COMMUNITY AND A WARM FAMILY READY TO WELCOME ME AND THIS FEELING STUCK WITH THESE SPECTACULAR FANS THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET – THAT I WILL ALWAYS CARRY IN MY HEART.”
Favourite Memories at the Stadio Alberto Picco
Derbies, goals, victories – Verde has experienced everything at the Stadio Alberto Picco.
“PERSONALLY, I LIKE THE MOMENTS OF HAPPINESS. SO ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, I CAN TELL YOU IT WAS LAST YEAR, SCORING IN THE DERBY AND WINNING IT AGAINST SAMPDORIA. IN TERMS OF THE TEAM, IT WAS THE LAST FEW GAMES AT THE STADIUM, WITH THE JOY AND CELEBRATION OF THE FANS AS WE MANAGED TO STAY IN SERIE A.”
Verde Wonder Goal Against Lazio
On April 3, 2021, at the Stadio Olimpico, Verde scored one of the goals of the season – an overhead kick against Lazio.
“I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE THAT’S WHAT THE LORD WANTED. MYSELF, I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT HAPPENED SO QUICKLY – AFTER DAYS AND WEEKS, I FINALLY REALIZED THE NICE GESTURE I MADE. I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING IN THE MOMENT. MY TEAMMATES REPEATED IT TO ME BUT I DIDN’T HEAR ANY VOICES. THEY KEPT TELLING ME THAT I HAD SCORED A GREAT GOAL BUT I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.”
Napoli Return On the Cards?
Despite being born in Naples, Verde started his career north with Roma. However, playing for his hometown remains a dream for him; especially having ‘blue blood’.
“IT’S ALWAYS NICE, MAYBE LIVING IN YOUR CITY. YOU KNOW ALL OF US HAVE THESE THINGS AS A CHILD – THESE DREAMS THAT ONE ALWAYS THINKS OF REACHING, EVEN UNKNOWINGLY. SO PLAYING FOR MY CITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT DREAM FOR ME. I HAVE BLUE BLOOD – THE BLOOD OF MY CITY.”
Would Verde Ever Make the Move to MLS?
Last year, Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi, and Giorgio Chiellini left Serie A to play in North America. Verde says that this has resulted in several positives for not only Italians but other foreigners when deciding whether or not to make the switch.
“IT’S OFTEN TALKED ABOUT HERE IN ITALY. IN RECENT YEARS IT HAS GROWN A LOT BOTH AS A BRAND AND AS A LEAGUE. THERE ARE MANY FELLOW COUNTRYMEN AND MANY FOREIGNERS WHO TRANSFER THERE SO WE HEAR ABOUT IT OFTEN. TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I WOULDN’T MIND IT BECAUSE OF THE EXPERIENCE BEYOND EVERYTHING – IT’S A DIFFERENT CULTURE, EVERYTHING IS VERY DIFFERENT.”
Swapping Jerseys With Lionel Messi
One of the greatest players to ever touch the pitch, Verde had the opportunity to not only play against Messi but also swap jerseys with the Argentine legend while a member of Real Valladolid CF – a moment that he holds very dear to his heart.
“I HAD ASKED ALREADY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME IF HE WANTED TO EXCHANGE IT AFTERWARDS AND HE HAD TOLD ME YES. AT THE END OF THE GAME I REMINDED HIM – HE TOOK OFF HIS SHIRT AND GAVE IT TO ME. FOR ME, I MIGHT AS WELL STOP PLAYING SOCCER – HIS JERSEY IS THE ULTIMATE LEVEL.”