Cagliari keeper Marchetti says he can handle Italy World Cup pressure

Federico Marchetti has assured Italy fans he has the temperament to be the nation's World Cup No1.

Federico Marchetti has assured Italy fans he has the temperament to be the nation's World Cup No1.

The Cagliari goalkeeper is now Italy’s first choice at the World Cup after Juventus icon Gigi Buffon suffered a herniated disk.

“Everything changed from one day to the next, but if I am here then it’s because I have quality,” said Marchetti. “I am experiencing a unique story. You are alone in goal and if you make a mistake your only ally is the woodwork.

“I do not step on to the field afraid of conceding a goal, but with the idea I will save everything. If you’re afraid, then you cannot be a goalkeeper.”

He only had four caps before coming on at half-time against Paraguay and no international experience at club level, but Marchetti showed nerves of steel.

“I am helped by courage, a slightly carefree attitude and awareness of my own quality. My experience has also made a difference. I stared death in the face during a car crash a few years ago, hitting a truck, so nothing can scare me now.

“I lost two of my dearest friends in another accident. They’ll be cheering me on from up there now.

“I may seem cold, but I do experience many emotions. I am the one who decides which to show to the world and when.

“I started out as a striker, because I had a very powerful kick, but one day it was raining and many mothers didn’t let their kids out to play football. I went between the posts and something clicked, I fell in love with that role.”

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