Michael Folorunsho: Italy's Coach Luciano Spalletti Hopes to Beat Nigeria to Exciting Napoli Star

Michael Folorunsho: Italy's Coach Luciano Spalletti Hopes to Beat Nigeria to Exciting Napoli Star

Ero Samson
updated at February 24, 2024 at 6:13 PM
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  • Michael Folorunsho has been one of the finest stars of the Serie A this season
  • The 26-year-old has attracted serious interest from the Super Eagles of Nigeria
  • Italy coach hopes the Napoli star opts to represent the Azzurri ahead of Nigeria

The international future of Michael Folorunsho has become an intense topic of debate following his stellar run of form for Hellas Verona.

The 26-year-old has shaken off the inconsistencies that shaped the formative years of his career and has continued to light up the scenes through the cadres of Italian football.

The versatile midfielder, who shone brightly on loan at Bari last season, has continued his immense form for Marco Baroni's side.

Michael Folorunsho, Napoli, Italy, Luciano Spalletti, Nigeria,
Michael Folorunsho celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona and Juventus. Image: Emmanuele Ciancaglini.
Source: Getty Images

Eligible to represent both Nigeria and Italy, he recently showcased his talent with a stunning goal against Juventus in Serie A.

With Nigeria in need of a quality midfielder like Folorunsho, there is speculation about his potential inclusion in the national team for an upcoming friendly against Argentina.

However, Italy's coach, Luciano Spalletti, has also expressed interest in having the Napoli star join the Azzurri.

Spalletti on Folorunsho

Discussing his strategy to lead Italy to victory in the European Championship and the World Cup, the 64-year-old emphasised the importance of assembling a formidable team.

Spalletti highlighted Folorunsho as one of the exciting players who could make his final 23-man squad.

According to Tutto Napoli, Spalletti stated,

"Folorunsho is a beast. There may be new faces in the squad. The list is 23, but I will bring in four or six more for the preliminary call."

Spalletti's comments appear an attempt to persuade the midfielder, who OwnGoalNigeria reports is contemplating playing for the Super Eagles, to reconsider his options.

While it appears that both Nigeria and Italy are subtly competing for the midfielder, the ultimate decision lies with Folorunsho and his team to determine which team best match his international aspirations.

Peseiro wants Folorunsho

Sports Brief in another report stated that the coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, has held talks with Folorunsho regarding the prospect of him playing for Nigeria.

The discussions between both parties were reported to have ended on a positive note, and it is expected that the Napoli star will be included in Nigeria’s team for the friendly against Argentina.

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Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).