Cristian Volpato is 12 years old – in year 7 – at St Joseph’s College. Cristian lives locally, most of the time with his mum Claudia and often, with his dad Oscar. Cristian is lucky enough to have two older sisters, Natascia and Simona, making him the youngest of three. Cristian’s passion is soccer.
When did you first realise you loved soccer? When I was kicking a soccer ball with my Nonno, or Grandpa. He really likes soccer and would play with me all the time, in the backyard. The first time I kicked a soccer ball I was really young‚Ä¶ from when I could walk, I was pretty much kicking a soccer ball.
Who helped you understand and improve your soccer?¬†When I was 4 years old, mum took me down to Abbotsford Juniors. I remember hogging the ball, and scoring 25 goals in my second or third game. A spectator told my mum to take me to AC Milan at Sydney Olympic Park, to Italian soccer coach Andrea Icardi. I got trialled with the 7-8 yr olds even though I was just over five. I loved it. I knew just to do what I do and started hogging the ball there, too. I have been at AC Milan for 7 years and still train with the AC Milan team and Andrea Icardi every Friday.
I moved to Syd United in 2014, but I kept up my training with AC Milan. Then two years ago I got scouted to go to¬†Sydney Football Club, which is as high as you can go with soccer, here in Australia.
What do you like about your teammates?¬†They‚Äôre good at soccer. My best friend Nectar Triantis (left of Cristian ‚òû) also plays for Syd FC, and is a really good player as well. It’s fun to play on the same team, with my best friend.¬†What‚Äôs the thing your coach always tells you to do?¬†”Cristian you‚Äôve got to go to Italy!” He says the same thing every time.
What’s so hard about soccer?¬†When you’ve got a good defender marking you, you feel like you don’t have enough room to do anything. A good defender follows you everywhere and makes the game a bit different, because you don’t get to express yourself. You have to be creative to get past a good defender.
What is your best soccer moment?¬†When I know someone is watching me, and it all comes together and I perform, that’s the best. Like what happened today, I’ve just come home from Coffs where I was representing NSW versing all the other states in the U13s comp. Our NSW team was undefeated over the whole week, and the Australian scout ‚Äì a dutch guy ‚Äì awarded me “Player of the Championship”, in front of over 5000 people. My NSW coach, Luca said “I knew you were gonna get it” WOW Cristian, I can’t believe we’re doing this interview, on the very day you were awarded such a big honour! How did winning Player of the (whole) Championship make you feel?¬†I was happy and relieved at the same time. Why were you relieved? Because now I have the best player in Australia award for U13‚Äôs… all that hard work everyday, has paid off.
Where do you imagine your soccer¬†will take you? I’m going to Italy in December and I think I might get a contract.¬†I went last year to try out for AC Milan Italy and Verona. My AC Milan Sydney coach, Andrea, set me up to trial with the Italian teams. Verona accepted me and AC Milan asked me to grow taller and come back next year, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m going in December for 2 months, all my school holidays. The best thing about going will be I’ll be training with heaps of soccer teams, visiting heaps of cousins and staying in our other home in Fossalunga, in the north of Italy.
I support AC Milan, but I really don’t care who I play for in Italy. It could be any team that offer me a contract, and then me and my dad will decide.¬†Luka Hrzina¬†(‚òú on left of Cristian)¬†my NSW coach, who was also my Sydney United coach… AND is my Joeys coach as well.¬†And of course Andrea will help us talk it through.
So if Discover Hunters Hill ever need a few soccer tips, Cristian, will you show us how to score goals….? Thanks for talking to us Cristian, we have really enjoyed hearing about your passion, soccer. Also, we DO like the sound of a holiday to Fossalunga – twist our arm and we will come with you… Does your mum pack you off with a load of her famous,¬†Stain cupcakes, by any chance?¬†😀
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