Bernardeschi: "Florence is the best place for me, never wanted to leave"

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Viola forward Federico Bernardeschi and club sporting director Daniel Pradè appeared at a press conference this afternoon to announce the young Italian’s contract extension.

Pradè began by saying a few words about the forward: “I’m happy to be here to announce Federico’s contract extension. It’s something that means a great deal to us. We’re pleased to be able to continue our journey of growth together. Lads like Bernardeschi and Babacar are the type of youth products that the club and the city want.”

The sporting director also spoke about the club’s future: “I’m detecting a lot of scepticism but I don’t see why there should be. We have a solid foundation to work with. Show some faith, with time we’ll sort everything.”

The floor was then passed to Bernardeschi himself: “I’ve been here for 12 years and I’ve never wanted to change clubs. I’ve had to take a lot of criticism from people over the last few months but I’m still here and ready to wear the Viola shirt. I’ve never wanted to leave Florence.”

Bernardeschi was then asked exactly why he’d decided to extend with Fiorentina: “Because the club made me understand that it wants me to be an important player here. I hope to have a good season and show what I’m capable of. I’ve always kind of dreamed of being a one-club man, but I know that’s not easy in modern football.”

There was also a message for Giuseppe Rossi: “He’s a fantastic person and a great player.”

Asked whether he would like the now-vacant No. 10 jersey: “Yes, I think I’m up to it after 12 years here. I want to wear it and look at it every day, to make me even more motivated. Not out of presumption, but pride. I know exactly what the No. 10 means to the people of Florence, I don’t even need to mention all the great players that have worn that jersey.”

Finally, Bernardeschi was asked whether there was anyone in particular he wanted to thank. The youngster replied simply: “The Della Valle family.”