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Cagliari’s Giovanni Simeone: ‘As a kid, my old man was my idol’

The striker on why he is more than ‘little Cholo’, his Champions League dream, and his unusual interests outside football

Of all the footballers watching the European Super League intrigue unfold, Giovanni Simeone might even have been the one paying most attention, wondering if the dream that drive him would be denied. He hasn’t played in the Champions League, not yet, but it has literally marked him, after all.

“I was 13 when I got my first tattoo,” the Cagliari striker says. “You’re supposed to be 18, but I was such a fan of the Champions League that I got the logo done at 13. My dad didn’t want me to. And my mum said: ‘Why?’ I said: ‘Because the day I play and get my first goal in it …’” Simeone looks at the screen and pulls up his sleeve to reveal his arm, leaning towards it lips first. “‘… then I’m going to kiss the tattoo,’” he concludes, a smile stretching across his face. “I was 13, and my attitude was: ‘Europe, Europe, Europe.’”

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