BEHIND THE SHIRT
Interview with hometown hero Patrick Cutrone
8 km and 300 meters by car separate the sports ground in the municipality of Paré from the Sinigaglia stadium.Separating them are the beautiful peaks that surround the lake and make it a unique landscape. Patrick Cutrone, our home grown talisman, talks to us about what Como means to him, from growing up playing football with his grandmother as goalkeeper to playing in some of the best leagues in the world and now back home, married and with a child on the way.
What does Como mean to you?
It is simply home. My home. It is the strolls as a kid I took with my father, the football games I played with my friends. The smell of lasagna cooked by my grandmother on Sundays, when the whole family would gather to eat and we would all laugh and joke together. My classmates, the first dates with my wife when we were still getting to know each other. The bond with the area is strengthened especially when you happen to have to leave it for a while.
It is also your football team.
Of course, but the football team is really the representation of my home. There is the pride of representing a region especially. It is a responsibility that I feel is mine and that I share with all my teammates. I am often lucky, however, when I score a goal, to catch a glimpse of a friend of mine in the corner cheering. There are few emotions as beautiful as these.
First memory from your childhood?
My mom and dad would take me to the playground, and I would spend hours there with my friends. I remember trading Pokemon cards with friends, and going to the gelateria with my parents. Parè is a small village attached to Como, it’s accessible to the everyday person. When I would go to my grandmother’s, I would kick a foam ball and she would pretend to be a goalie.
In those years, Como had recently gone bankrupt, they were not doing well, and you as a very young boy went straight into the youth academy at AC Milan straight from your hometown team.
Luigi Rampoldi brought me to Milan, I was very small but it was a great emotion. I followed all the procedures there but as long as I could I continued to live in Como.
At AC Milan you scored a lot of goals in Serie A and then you made your debut with the national team.
Yes, I was very young and at that age things wash over you without you really processing them. It was a very good time and I am proud to have worn the national team jersey in a game against Argentina.
Then you went to play in the Premier League.
At Wolverhampton, yes. A group of Wolves fans came to Como to see me play last year, it was very nice. During my time in England they even dedicated a song to me that went quite viral on social media.
What do you take with you from your experiences abroad?
The growth as a human being and then as a sportsman. Integrating with a new culture and a new way of thinking, learning a different language and living with a different mentality from ours is something that helps you a lot. Football is always football, anywhere in the world, but there are some small technical-tactical differences, especially in methodology, that are nice to appreciate. In this sense I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to play in the three most important leagues in the world, Serie A, Premier League and La Liga, from these experiences I definitely feel strengthened and improved.
Off the field what kind of guy are you?
Very straightforward, I’m someone who has maintained a lot of the relationships I had when I was a child. My friends are the same group I had as a boy. I like to spend my free time with my wife, who is also from Como, and with the family.
One of your great passions is animals.
Yes I like them dearly, my wife and I have two dogs, Arno and Rumba, they are two Amstaffs. It is nice every time you leave the house to know that when you return they will be there waiting for you, ready to shower you with affection. In addition to Arno and Rumba, we have also adopted other dogs remotely through a kennel.
Do you follow other sports?
Not so much, but let’s say that after football my favourite is tennis.
Why number 10?
Because of my dad. Unfortunately he passed away about a year ago, he was my first fan and I had a very special bond with him. I used to wear 63 which was his year of birth, from this year I decided to wear 10 because it is a number he was fond of and he wore it in some matches. Every time I step onto the pitch I think of him, I know he is there with me, ready to give me courage.