Federico Chiesa comes from great football stock – his dad is Enrico Chiesa is a former Italy international who played for Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Lazio.
Some might have seen him playing for Italy as his destiny but it would be easy to wilt under the pressure of having such a well-known old man.
Chiesa Jr has taken it all in his stride, though, and is now creating his own history, having enjoyed an excellent Euro 2020 with Italy.
He didn’t start Italy’s first two group matches (convincing 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland) but Azzurri boss Robert Mancini gave him a chance against Wales.
Mancini opted to not start him in what proved to be a tough last-16 tie against Austria but the decision to bring Chiesa on in the 84th minute proved to be inspired as the 23-year-old opened the scoring in extra-time with a lovely control and finish en route to a 2-1 win.
Chiesa has been in Mancini’s thoughts ever since, starting their hard-fought triumph over Belgium before being given the nod for the win over Spain in the semi-finals.
It looked like he was going to be the match-winner as he curled the Italians ahead on the hour but Alvaro Morata replied as the match eventually went to penalties.
He may have pulled up with cramp in extra-time but Chiesa will surely be a huge contender to start against either England on Sunday in the final.
It’s not just his dad who’s helped him get to this point though.
Chiesa was scouted by Fiorentina from an early age but a lack of physical development put his dreams of making it as a footballer in serious doubt.
But he was inspired by the incredible work-ethic of Cristiano Ronaldo, a future teammate of his, that told him to keep going.
“For two or three years, I really struggled to get any playing time, as my physique wasn’t as well-developed as others my age,” Chiesa told Undici magazine, per Football Italia.
“When you are 14 or 15 years old, it feels like this desperate disappointment. I thought many times about giving up, but my family always believed and ultimately so did I.
“When I wasn’t playing, I’d try to think – I’ll play the next one. Working hard in training really paid off, it’s the push that got me to Serie A and now has me trying to improve week by week.
“It’s the same attitude as Cristiano Ronaldo. He doesn’t have the talent of [Lionel] Messi, but has won the same number of Ballon d’Or trophies.
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“An exemplary professional like him proves if you want to reach the top and stay there, focusing on every tiny detail is crucial.”
Having joined Juventus on a two-year loan last summer, Chiesa can continue to learn from the great man himself.
But earlier in his career he learnt from another top player in Franck Ribery. They may have played together just 18 times but they had a great understanding as you can see from this stunning goal in September 2020.
As mentioned, Chiesa has moved onto bigger things and is now a hero of Italy, who are one win away from becoming European champions.
But whatever the result, Chiesa will look back on this tournament fondly as it helped him become his own man.