Castelrotto, 23 July 2021 – In between today’s two training sessions at Castelrotto, Botond Balogh met with journalists for a press conference:

“Last season was an important one for me. I made my first-team debut and I can’t wait to start this next season and maybe play more minutes. Obviously, it doesn’t just depend on me: it’s up to me to just work hard day in day out to show my worth. The fact that the coach speaks a few languages is a bonus for us all, both for the new arrivals that perhaps don’t speak Italian and also for me. When he speaks to me in English, I can understand better what he wants of me in training.”

I think that playing out from the back is a positive thing. We play with three at the back now, and I am on the right of that three, therefore we have a man extra in midfield during build-up play, which helps us a lot. Which opponent left an impression on me last season? I’d say Perisic; he had won the Champions League with Bayern Munich the season before and it was my Serie A debut. It wasn’t easy.”

This is a really great group: united and strong. There isn’t a lot of difference between the younger players and the more experienced guys; we’re like a real family. I didn’t play many games in Serie A last season and haven’t played in Serie B at all, so it’s all very new to me. We’ll see how it goes on the pitch this season. My role models? I watched Bonucci and Chiellini at the Euros; it was amazing to watch them at work. They’ve been among the best defenders in Europe’s best leagues in the last ten years. As a kid, I followed Italian football really closely; playing with Buffon behind me is a dream come true.”