Sports / China

Italian soccer player eager to make debut

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou ( Updated: 2014-07-18 17:19

Italian soccer player eager to make debut

Alberto Gilardino, former Italian national soccer team player, trains with teammates, Guangdong province. Photo by Qiu Quanlin/China Daily

Italian striker Alberto Gilardino is eager to make his debut in the Chinese league, saying he will demonstrate a trademark move — playing an invisible violin — to celebrate goals.

The former Italian national team player, 32, said he has been adapting to the weather of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, after he signed a 30-month contract with defending Chinese Super League champion Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao on July 11.

"Of course, I like Chinese soccer. I hope to play for the Guangzhou team as soon as possible and help the team win more trophies," he said.

The Guangzhou side will play at home against Shandong Luneng on Sunday at the Tianhe Stadium. However, coach Marcello Lippi said Gilardino needed at least two weeks of physical recovery before his debut.

"I finished a season in Italy before I joined the Guangzhou club. I will train hard and be fully prepared for a real game in China," Gilardino said.

"I will celebrate by playing an invisible violin again if I score."

Before joining the Chinese soccer side, Gilardino played for several Italian clubs including Piacenza, Parma, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Genova and Bologna. He was also in the national squad in 2006 when Italy won the World Cup in Germany.

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