Acerbi: 'Immobile for Ballon d'Or!'

Francesco Acerbi claims Lazio “deserve” third place in Serie A and that Ciro Immobile would be “worthy of the Ballon d’Or if he keeps going like this.”

Acerbihas been called up to the Italy squad for the third international break running, taking advantage of the unfortunate ACL injury suffered by Giorgio Chiellini.

“I never thought I’d have a permanent place for Lazio or the national team,” he said at a Press conference.

“I always try to do my best to improve, so as not to give the coach a reason to drop me.

“We miss Chiellini, who is an international column, so I have to do my best every time Mancini gives me an opportunity.”

The defender was then asked about Lazio’s season so far and Immobile’s prolific form in front of goal.

“Immobile’s a friend and a great striker. We must protect him. I hope he scores lots of goals. He’s happy at Lazio. He scored less last season but still proved his worth.

“If he keeps going like this, he’d be worthy of the Ballon d’Or. He truly deserves so much success.

“We’re doing really well in the League. It’s a shame about the Europa League. Even if [us going out] isn’t yet certain, we could and should’ve done more. There’s a bitter taste in our mouths.

“We’re aiming for the Champions League and we hope to continue like this. The four victories in a row must be a starting point.

“Lately we’ve shown consistency, so it’s a shame the international break has arrived. We deserve third place.

The 31-year-old was not part of the Azzurri set-up when they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while he faces a familiar foe on Friday in Roma and Bosnia-Herzegovina striker Edin Dzeko.

“I was at a friend’s house and at the end of the game I was incredulous. I was hoping Italy would score a goal and it left me in a really bad way, but it’s the past now.

“Now we’ve made the European Championship. We must build on what we’ve been doing and look forward.

“It’s a derby. For me he’s one of the strongest strikers in terms of quality. He causes problems by himself, but we mustn’t only think about him because Bosnia have other important players like Pjanic.

“They will certainly play for the win, but so will we.”

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