A quick glance at the players’ Twitter accounts before their flight and you’ll see an overwhelming excitement about the postseason training tour in Italy.
Nine hours aboard two planes, with a six hour layover in Munich sandwiched in between, may have left them a little tired when they finally got to the hotel in Bologna, but it didn’t damper their spirits.
World Cup winning defender Alessandro Nesta spent part of the layover in Germany imparting some advice on the five Academy players - Zakaria Messoudi in particular.
“These are great opportunities for younger players, playing against big teams in Europe,” he said while walking with the midfielder towards Gate 63 at the Munich airport. “Take it seriously.”
Defender Matteo Ferrari, sitting with teammates Patrice Bernier, Hassoun Camara and Dennis Iapichino, along with athletic therapists Jean-Sébastien Rondeau and Vincent Roof-Racine following dinner at the hotel in Bologna, shared with his table mates a few of the things he missed from Italy now that he is a full-time MLSer.
“I am really looking forward to a good coffee…there’s nothing like it,” said the former Italian international with a smile.
Messoudi and his U21 teammates have 11 more days to learn from the wisdom of Nesta and Ferrari, both on their professions and in life.