England face Italy ace who was pushed over hoardings back when he was a ballboy

England are set to face a winger who was once pushed over the advertising hoardings when he was a ballboy.

20-year-old forward Matteo Cancellieri is in the Italy squad for Friday night's Nations League match at the San Siro in Milan, having made his senior international debut back in June. The on-loan Lazio man, however, made headlines back in March 2018 when he was a ballboy during a Champions League clash between Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk.

The then 16-year-old Cancellieri, who was a member of Roma's academy, was pushed by Shakhtar striker Facundo Ferreyra, causing him to fall backwards over the advertising hoardings.

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Ferreyra had felt that Cancellieri was time-wasting during the closing stages of the match at the Stadio Olimpico, with Roma's slim 1-0 lead enough for them to progress on away goals.

As a result, he rushed over to the teenager, who he felt was taking too long to return the ball to the pitch, before shoving him over the hoardings behind him.

The Argentine forward later apologised through then Roma goalkeeper Alisson before Cancellieri took to social media to forgive him.

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"Thanks to all those who were worried," he explained. "Everything is fine, luckily. It was just an uncontrolled gesture of anger on the part of the player. He is a human being too."

Roma were able to hold on to their lead and advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on away goals, where they would famously overturn a 4-1 first leg deficit to knock out Barcelona at home.

As for Cancellieri, he remained on Roma's books until last summer, when he made a loan move to Hellas Verona permanent for just over £2million.

After scoring twice in 14 first team appearances last term he moved back to the Italian capital back in July, this time joining Roma's bitter rivals Lazio on a season long loan.

Although he is yet to start for this new club, he has made eight appearances across all competitions so far this term. Cancellieri will also be hoping to win his second cap for this country on Friday after making his debut off the bench against Germany back in June.


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