If you follow the Italian women's national team, you probably knew the name "Gabbiadini" pretty well before rumors of Napoli signing Manolo Gabbiadini cropped up. That's because Melania Gabbiadini is a veteran and one of the leading stars of the Italian national side, with the striker having won 86 caps and scored 30 goals for her team. She's also played for AGSM Verona for ten years, winning four Scudetto titles in Italy's top division.
Melania also happens to be the older sister of Manolo, and she thinks her baby brother signing with Napoli is a fantastic idea. She doesn't just think Napoli is a big club, but also a good fit for her brother because of who he can learn from. "[Gonzalo] Higuain and [Jose] Callejon can take [Manolo] under their wing and teach him everything he needs to know to become a champion," Melania said in an interview with Il Mattino, telling the paper about her relationship with her brother and how he got to this stage of his career.
"He’s strong in the mind above all, a hard worker and just as stubborn as me. Manolo has been ready for the big step up for some time. He knows he’s going to one of the most prestigious clubs in Italy. [Rafa] Benitez has always done well with young [forwards], such as Fernando Torres, so he’s the right man for Manolo at this moment. If he said yes to Napoli, it’s also because of Benitez. I told him to keep his feet on the ground, because it’s easy to be raised up as a hero one day and just as quick to fall into Hell at your first mistake."
-Source: Il Mattino
The whole interview is actually pretty wonderful, and paints a nice picture of their familial relationship. She talks about taking him to his first training sessions, how he learned how to be a forward from watching her play and trying to out-do the goals she scored, and even about talking him in to getting his first tattoo last year.
And of course, what's family without a little competition: "Now he is about to make the big step up. I’ve won four Scudetto titles though, so now it’s his turn to get started."