Bernardeschi pleased with "beautiful and positive" debut

The Fiorentina winger has earned his first cap for the Azzurri, as he faced European Championship holders.

Bernardeschi pleased with "beautiful and positive" debut
Bernardeschi at Italy's pre-match press conference, before their friendly against Spain (Source: Zimbio)

Federico Bernardeschi played his first game for Italy's senior team on Thursday, during an international friendly which ended 1-1 against Spain.

The 22-year-old came on as a 60th minute substitute, replacing Lazio's Antonio Candreva.

After making his debut for the Azzurri, Bernardeschi described the moment as "a beautiful and positive start for me." He felt "great pride" from "wearing this jersey", which must have been a highlight in his career so far.

He felt that "the draw was a pity," as Spain's goal wasn't deservedly ruled out for offside.

Bernardeschi knows that he must "continue to work and prove myself", to have a chance of making the squad for this years European Championships.

Bernardeschi experienced his first half hour of international football against some of the world's best (Source: Zimbio)

Italy Under-21's victory

Italy Under-21's also played on the same night of the senior team, beating the Republic of Ireland Under-21's 4-1. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, 17, made history as he became the youngest ever player to make his Italy Under-21  debut.

After the match Bernardeschi wanted to "congratulate" his  "fellow U-21s who won tonight." He believes that "younger players always try our best, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we don’t; but tonight we did well."

Bernardeschi currently has 12 Under-21 caps, and will still be eligible to play in the 2017 European Under-21 Championships, if Italy retain their 1st place spot in the qualifying group.

Bernardeschi's performances

Italy's single goal came from Lorenzo Insigne and Bernardeschi played his part. Alessandro Florenzi found the Fiorentina man in the centre of the field, who started to dribble at Spain's back four. He decided to play it out wide for Emanuele Giaccherini, to set up Insigne.

Bernardeschi has been a pivotal player in Fiorentina's season, who currently lie 4th in the Serie A table. Despite only having one goal to his name in the league, he's faired better in Europe, scoring four times in Viola's Europa League campaign.

Bernardeschi has recorded the most successful take-ons per league match (2.31), out of the current Italy squad. AC Milan's Giacomo Bonaventura is a close second, with 2.25 (Squawka).

Italy now face World Cup champions

Italy will now train in Coverciano, as Bernardeschi said that they must "focus and prepare to face Germany" on Tuesday. Conte has already called up Daniele Rugani and Stefano Okaka to replace injured players Andrea Barzagli, Marco Verratti and Ciro Immobile. But another addition to the squad has been made, with AC Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio.