Francesco Acerbi debuts for Azzurri after beating cancer TWICE | inside World Soccer

Francesco Acerbi won his first cap for Italy on Tuesday night which is amazing because he's beaten cancer twice to recover his career and get to this stage.


The 26-year-old moved to Sassuolo in July 2013 and during a customary medical, it was discovered that Acerbi had a tumour in his left testicle.

His immediate surgery was deemed a success and, almost miraculously, he was fit to return to action in September of the same year and became a regular for the newly promoted club.

However, his cancer struck again in December and Acerbi underwent a course of chemotherapy for months.

Remarkably he continued to train while undergoing chemotherapy and by March this year, Acerbi has fully recovered and after playing regularly this season, the former AC Milan man made his Azzurri debut during a friendly game against Albania on Tuesday.

"With everything I went through, I am happy and proud, but I have objectives and when I've reached them I will be satisfied," Acerbi told Rai Sport after a 1-0 win.

"If you want to reach your targets, then you need to work hard, sweat and have that hunger within you. If you don't have it in you, then it's impossible to get there."

He added: "Where I play at Sassuolo there are many talented young players with great prospects, but they have to keep their feet on the ground. As I've seen, you can struggle to climb up and then in a moment you fall straight back down.

"I understood these things when going through chemo, but even before then I watched those who put the effort in. At times you need to make mistakes to learn, so the players need to mature at their own pace and understand things their way."

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