Fiorentina midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura sat down with Serie A ahead of Matchday 22 to speak about leaving his mark on the league, reuniting with Vincenzo Italiano, and the club’s failure to live up to expectations this season.
Longevity in Serie A
The 33-year-old’s recently signed a contract extension with Fiorentina through to 2024. Having made 337 Serie A appearances, the masked midfielder wants to continue at the top level – following in the footsteps of some evergreen legends.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play alongside Ibra and Ribery and I’ve seen that through their hard work and considered approaches they’ve managed to keep playing at a high level into their forties. I hope that I can keep playing for as long as possible. I’ve played so many games in Serie A. That makes me proud. I’ve worked under so many coaches who’ve taught me a lot and shared a great deal of wisdom with me. This has helped me a lot. What’s important is having a well-drilled team, a coach who instils certain principles and a structured way of playing, and being in good physical shape. This leads to great performances.”
Reuniting With Vincenzo Italiano
Viola coach Italiano rarely passes up on Bonaventura’s vision and poise on the ball. The two were teammates at Padova in 2010 and share the same football philosophy.
“Since the coach has come in our playing style has changed a lot. I met him as a youngster when he was a veteran. We played alongside one another. You could already see the coach in him back then. Although he was still playing he acted a bit like a coach. When we reunited here I remember meeting up on the first day and chatting for an hour in the dressing room. I understood right away what his ideas were for the team. I went away thinking that Italiano would do a great job here.”
Reasons for Underperforming
After returning to European competition, thanks to their high-tempo attacking game, this season Fiorentina have been struggling to live up to expectations and sit 13th.
“We’ve had a turnover of three or four players since last season. Some of the newcomers found it hard to bed into Serie A. However I’ve seen that as a team we’re in better shape and players including those who’ve come from abroad have bought right into the coach’s ideas and now know what Italian football is all about. I think we can go from strength to strength.”