Cremonese defender Emanuele Valeri sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 24 to speak about his debut in the Italian top flight, his professional career, and the club’s performances this season.
Memorable Moment at the Stadio Olimpico
For footballers born in Rome, there can only be one dream. To perform on the stage of the modern Colosseum, the Stadio Olimpico.
“I’ll never forget heading out onto the pitch and seeing so many fans at the stadium. I’d never seen anything like it. Maybe I’d seen as many fans in other games as a spectator but the atmosphere and the love for those colours on the pitch can only be created by the fans. It was a mix of emotions because I said to myself, ‘Playing in front of so many fans, I’ve done it’.”
From Serie D to Serie A
That day also saw Valeri’s Serie A debut. The Cremonese left-back had risen from the fourth tier of Italian football.
“I started out in the fourth division, or even lower down in the fifth tier. I had one season of fun with my friends and everything then stemmed from there. A Serie D team called Rieti came after me and I then went up to Serie C with Lecce. Cremonese then signed me in Serie B, so it’s not like going from the Academy side to Serie A. I’ve gone up from division to division myself and said to myself that I can do better and better.”
Can Cremonese Survive the Drop?
Cremonese often show flashes of brilliance– but they remain winless, stranded at the bottom of the table. And this is despite the fact that the coach, Davide Ballardini, appointed in January, is an expert in battling relegation.
“I expected Serie A to be really different. I didn’t think the players and clubs would be so well equipped with so many good players. The step from Serie B to Serie A is effectively a three- or four-division jump. The level of focus goes up, as do the whole team’s physical and mental levels. All the players are well-prepared, so it’s a big hurdle to overcome because not everyone manages it. That’s what you have to do if you want to stay in Serie A. My experience can help me if we keep fighting and don’t give up, while having an open approach to every game, playing Milan, Inter or Juve isn’t easy, but if we stick together, as we’ve been since the start of the year, it’s a target that we can go after.”