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Young Aussie Cristian Volpato Scores First Goal for Roma


Australian footballer Cristian Volpato’s incredible season with Roma has continued with the young Aussie coming off the bench to score his debut goal. 

With Roma trailing 2-0 at home against Verona , Volpato was brought on in the 62nd minute by master coach Jose Mourinho and within minutes after coming on, Volpato scored to get Roma back in the game.

After Verona attempted to clear a corner, Volpato hit a low shot that went passed a number of players in the box and riffled into the back of the net.

Roma eventually found an equaliser through fellow teenager Edoardo Bove when he scored in the 84th minute with the home side going on to gain a valuable point in the push for European football next season.

Volpato became the youngest scorer in Serie A this season and also the first Aussie to score in Serie A since Mark Bresciano in 2009.

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The Sydney-born 18-year-old, who only made his senior debut with Roma in December, was happy to score his maiden goal but would have liked Roma to win the game.

“I’m very happy about my first goal, but it’s a shame that we could only come away with a draw,” Volpato said to DAZN after the game.

“I wanted to come on and change the game.”

When questioned about what advice Mourinho gave to him, Volpato answered, “Mourinho told us (the substitutes) to play simple football and to always try and make the decisive pass.”

Raised in inner western Sydney, Volpato was released by the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC after failing to impress during his time at their academies.

After being released, Volpato linked up with the founder and technical director of the Australasian Soccer Academy, Tony Basha, who knew straight away that the two A-League clubs had made a mistake.

“I invited him for a session, looked at him and I said, ‘Mate, this guy’s a star, they got rid of him?’,” Basha said.

“I’ve been involved in the game for a long time and I can see talent people can’t see. Straight after the session I got on the phone to Roma and told them I had a player. I knew after one session that this guy was a gun player.”

Volpato impressed in is trial with Roma and was signed by Roma legend Francesco Totti who now acts as his player manager and mentor. 

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In January 2020, Volpato signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Roma and signed his first professional contract a year later.

On the international stage, Volpato will eventually have a tough decision to make as he is eligible to represent both Australia and Italy.

“I was born in Sydney with Italian parents and always taught Italian values,” Volpato told KeepUp.

The promising footballer was previously called up to Italy’s U19’s national side, however he did not play due to injury.

Last October, Volpato was set to join the Olyroos in Dubai, however the move was blocked by Roma as the timeframe fell outside of an official FIFA window and he was forced to stay in Italy.

For the moment, Volpato wants to concentrate on cementing a place in the Roma starting side.

“I am concentrating on club football and getting into the first team. This is my focus for now. I am always open for discussion. But my club football is where I am concentrating on now.”

With the Socceroos having some important World Cup qualifiers coming up, now might be a good time for coach Graham Arnold to get on the phone and give Volpato a call before the youngster is snapped up by Italy.

Picture of Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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