Former Roma U17 Coach Reveals How Teenage Talent Volpato Was Discovered

Former Roma U17 manager Fabrizio Piccareta, who held reigns with the Giallorossi youth team from three years from 2018 to 2021, has revealed how he discovered Cristian Volpato.

The Australia-born playmaker, who is also eligible to represent the Azzurri, only just came to the spotlight a few days ago when he rallied his side’s opener after going 2-0 down at the Stadio Olimpico to Hellas Verona.

In a game of very few chances for Roma, Volpato was substituted in the 62th minute by a desperate Jose Mourinho keen to register a comeback against a stubborn Verona defence. Just three minutes after his entrance, the 18-year-old belted a half volley from inside the box. The goal proved to reignite life into the Giallorossi, who levelled scores twenty minutes later to steal a vital point.

Piccareta helped develop the youngster in the Primavera ranks and believes he is in the right club to mature as a professional.

Speaking to Corriere dello Sport (via Calciomercato) in an exclusive column, he said: “I was lucky to discover Volpato. It was all thanks to an Australian contact of mine, Tony Basha. I learned from him of a very skilled teenager. Except that he didn’t have a league in which to prove it, in practice he was playing on his own in an academy.”

The former Giallorossi youth manager was quick to inform team manager Morgan De Sanctis of Volpato’s potential.

“I had a video sent to me but it was not enough. I asked to meet him personally before reporting him to De Sanctis,” he disclosed.

In order to provide him an initial platform to showcase his skills and talent, a friendly was organized with the local team from the historic locality of Trastevere.

He commented: “We organized a friendly match with the help of Trastevere who hosted him in the youth team: he scored 3 goals in a quarter of an hour. Roma at that point were good at catching him.”

Piccareta also revealed what kind of player he sees in Volpato.

“For me he is an attacking midfielder, not a striker. He likes to play the ball forward, aiming for the goal, he’s not the type to wait for the pass to arrive. He likes to make things happen,” he explained.

The versatile midfielder is capable of functioning in different roles on the pitch, including as winger and a traditional regista, something he takes influence from his footballing idol, Roman legend Francesco Totti.

He has been with Roma Primavera since January 2020 and is quite possibly experiencing a breakthrough this season under Mourinho. Volpato has scored 8 goals, including his first senior goal against Verona, in 21 appearances for Roma this season.