Lecce defender Federico Baschirotto was interviewed by Serie A to speak about his upbringing, family, defensive inspirations, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger comparisons.
From the Countryside to the Big Stage
Lecce’s Federico Baschirotto is a defender with a difference. Sure, he’s been a rock at the heart of the defence… But he’s also become a cult hero. He grew up on his family’s farm north of Verona and he has the physique of a bodybuilder.
“Having loaded and unloaded pigs worked in the fields in the countryside on a tractor, it really toughens you up physically because it’s hard work. It’s not like sitting in an office on a chair and typing. You really have to use your body. It takes real commitment. I perhaps don’t have the exceptional talent of Dybala or people like him. so I have to work twice as hard to maybe reach that level. That’s why I take great care of my body and mind.”
Like his childhood hero Alessandro Nesta, the 26-year-old centre-back has developed perfect timing and a wily defensive technique.
“As well my physicality on the pitch, what I want is to have the same ability as Nesta to win the ball without the opponent even realising. That’s the amazing thing. While the physical side of the game might work to my advantage, given my physique and build, taking the ball off an attacker without them even realizing is even better.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger Comparisons
Besides his defensive skills, Baschirotto is also an offensive threat, scoring three goals – celebrated in the style of Arnold Schwarzenegger!
“I celebrate using the Schwarzenegger pose because it was almost a bet with a friend to show off my physique. My goalscoring instinct means that I call for the ball in the area, visualise scoring, try to anticipate the ball’s arrival and make sure I’m ready when it comes. You could say it’s a force of attraction.”