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U17 captains Cerri, Mitryushkin go head to head

Warming up for Friday's UEFA European U17 Championship final over a game of table football, captains Alberto Cerri and Anton Mitryushkin give an insight into Italy and Russia.

Captains Alberto Cerri and Anton Mitryushkin will meet in Friday's final
Captains Alberto Cerri and Anton Mitryushkin will meet in Friday's final ©Sportsfile

Facing each other on Friday night as the UEFA European Under-17 Championship concludes in Slovakia, one of Alberto Cerri and Anton Mitryushkin will lift the trophy. The captains of Italy and Russia have led their sides to within 80 minutes of glory, and the duo give UEFA.com an insight into their squads and their team-mates, over a warm-up game of table football. 

UEFA.com: Who is the biggest joker in the squad?

Alberto Cerri: More than actual jokers, the funniest lads who probably joke the most are [Mario] Pugliese and [Gennaro] Tutino. I would say we are more or less all jokers, but they stand out particularly.
Anton Mitryushkin: I'd say it's Dzhamal [Khodzhaniyazov]. He and Aleksei Grechkin [who did not make the squad because of injury] are our main jokers.

UEFA.com: Which player has the hardest shot?

Cerri: I think that it's [Federico] Bonazzoli's left foot, or [Federico] Dimarco, and they were both born in 1997. I think my shot is quite powerful too.
Mitryushkin: Our second goalkeeper, Aleksei Kuznetsov.

UEFA.com: Who is the king of the games' room?

Cerri: I rarely go, but I know that [Giacomo] Sciacca and [Elio] Capradossi are always challenging each other on FIFA. I know that Capradossi won this morning. At pool there is Bonazzoli and [Alberto] Tibolla always playing against each other. They are always there.
Mitryushkin: To tell the truth, I don't know, because I don't go there. A lot of my team-mates play table tennis and the rivalry is quite serious. But I don't know who the champion is.

UEFA.com: Who is in charge of the dressing-room music before games?

Cerri: We all agree on the music to listen to. There is not one particular player. Someone puts the music on their mobile phone and we listen to the same few songs every time.
Mitryushkin: That's Aleksandr Dovbnya, he sets eveything up.

UEFA.com: Which player is always late?

Cerri: Sciacca. Just him. It's always him we are waiting for.
Mitryushkin: It happens to everybody sometimes, but we don't have a permanent 'hero'.

UEFA.com: Who has the strangest superstition?

Cerri: Some of us are quite superstitious, like praying before going onto the pitch, or wrapping things around our wrists, maybe to cover a small bracelet or something.
Mitryushkin: I don't know. I think it's quite personal and no one talks about it.

UEFA.com: Who is the loudest and who is the quietest in the squad?

Cerri: Pugliese is loudest. I think I am quite lively too. Sciacca is the most relaxed, him and [Simone] Scuffet.
Mitryushkin: The quietest is definitely Denis Yakuba, he is very shy, but on the pitch it's totally different, like he is a different person. It is hard for me to choose the loudest. All the lads are good and cheerful.

UEFA.com: Who is the biggest hit with the girls?

Cerri: Let's make him happy and say Tutino!
Mitryushkin: I think the players are always in the spotlight, so almost all of them are popular. They are in good physical shape and have a healthy lifestyle, which helps as well.

UEFA.com: Which of your team-mates spends the most time in front of the mirror?

Cerri: Tutino definitely! I share a room with him and he is always there!
Mitryushkin: Well, we do have some boys who are really careful about their looks. They care about it a lot, but not excessively. Obviously, I will not name names.