Lorenzo Insigne is the man of the moment in Naples, as the diminutive forward rides the high of his game-tying goal and game-winning assist in Napoli's last match against Torino before the international break. Now, with a match coming up this weekend against Inter Milan, he sat down with Radio Kiss Kiss for an interview on a small variety of subjects.
One of the main takeaways of the interview was Insigne's desire to make a return to the Italian national team. After getting just one substitute appearance during Italy's horror show of a World Cup, Insigne has yet to be called in to the squad by new manager Antonio Conte. With his struggles early in the season, such a decision made sense, but now Insigne wants to use his Torino performance as a springboard to force his way back in to Conte's plans.
"I am happy for the goal, as I felt like I was cursed for a while," Insigne told the hosts of Radio Kiss Kiss. "My teammates always had faith in me, as even when I wasn’t scoring they were still close to me. [...] Conte is making his choices, but I continue working with Napoli and will always give everything for this jersey. I’ll try to convince the Italy Coach in every game too."
With Italy struggling somewhat to adjust to Conte's style in attack, a chance should come for Insigne eventually if he can continue to improve his performances. He's near-perfect for the second striker role that Conte deploys, the role that Sebastian Giovinco struggled in during Italy's 1-0 win over Azerbaijan earlier this week. If Insigne can earn a chance to show what he can do in that spot, it's very possible he can convince Conte to keep him in his setup for a long time to come.
On the theme of the upcoming match against Inter, Insigne declared that Napoli were "going [to the San Siro] to win," but also spoke warmly of Walter Mazzarri, who gave Insigne his first extended run in Napoli's first team. He also revealed that as a youth player, he once had a trial at Inter Milan to potentially sign with their academy, but was rejected for being "too short".
To be fair, even as a full grown man Insigne stands only 5'4", so it's hard to blame Inter academy directors for being overcautious when it came to a tiny youngster with a limited physical frame. It's exceedingly rare for a player of Insigne's stature to succeed at this level, making young Lorenzo's career so far even more remarkable than most people realize at first blush.
Insigne also revealed a desire to become Napoli's captain someday, declaring that it had always been his dream to wear the armband. He said he was perfectly happy with Marek Hamsik as the captain, though, signing the Slovakian's praises as the leader of the squad. As long as Insigne is patient and plays well for Napoli, he'll get his chance at the captaincy eventually.
Hopefully Insigne continues straight off from his impressive performance last time out and lights things up against Inter. A sustained run of excellent form from Insigne is just what the doctor ordered and would do Napoli incalculable amounts of good on the pitch. Best of luck to you, Lorenzo.