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Chelsea's Zappacosta reveals past as No.10: Nedved was my idol

15:09 GMT 16/12/2017
Davide Zappacosta Chelsea 2017
The Blues wing-back revealed some surprising facts about his life as a youngster in Italy including who inspired him to become a footballer

Chelsea's Davide Zappacosta has revealed that he began life in football as a playmaker and idolised Juventus icon Pavel Nedved.

The wing-back went on to change position and play for Juventus's fierce rivals Torino but he admitted that the former Ballon d'Or winner was his idol as a youngster. 

The Italy international moved to Stamford Bridge in a £22 million move over the summer and he has been rotated in and out of Antonio Conte's side. He revealed why Nedved was his favourite player growing up. 

"My favourite player was Pavel Nedved, who was great, especially in the year that he won the Ballon d'Or," Zappacosta told the Chelsea match-day programme ahead of Southampton. "He was a player with a big personality. 

"He used to play with both feet, and he always gave everything in every game. I really liked his style of play. My first role was on the right side of midfield, but then at the age of 16, my coach decided to let me play as a 'trequartista', like a No10, with a bit more freedom.

"That was really good for me because I had a good run there and scored a lot of goals, which started to get me noticed."

Zappacosta went on to say that he was good at all sports including basketball as a youngster, while he was also a Dragon Ball Z fan. He used to rush home from football training with his hometown club Sora to watch the football anime show Oliver & Benji. 

He also is a lover of rock music citing Queen, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi as some of his favourite acts.