Wednesday, 8 October 2008

[Azzurri] Racism not an issue for Santacroce

Napoli defender Fabiano Santacroce is celebrating his maiden Azzurri call-up but stresses that it isn't a victory over racism.

Fabiano SantacroceThe half-Brazilian star has been chosen for Marcello Lippi's squad for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Montenegro.

Some press sources have hailed his selection as a crucial blow struck against racism in Italian football, but Santacroce doesn't want to dwell on that point.

"I have never felt like a victim of racism," he insisted. "But if someone did insult me I would just laugh because you can't do more than that.

"I suffered a little from racism when I was a kid and I was playing in the junior ranks as there were stupid people around, but I didn't give it much importance.

"I don't lack character but if people want to see my selection for the Azzurri as an anti-racism gesture then that's fine but I just see it as a prize for what I have done on the pitch," he concluded.

Coach Lippi was asked the question in his news conference in which he said: "People are saying that his selection is a response to racism? I didn't think about that but that is a welcome message."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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