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“I see myself in him” – Italian international star names current Manchester City defender as footballing inspiration



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Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker has been named as a footballing inspiration by Italian star Raoul Bellanova.

Both the 23-year-old and Kyle Walker made substitute appearances during last season’s UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul, as Manchester City beat Inter Milan in June 2023 to win the competition for the first time as part of an historic treble.

The former Inter Milan full-back wasn’t retained by Simone Inzaghi for the 2023/24 season, with Bellanova having spent the campaign at fellow Serie A side Torino, where the defender has made 37 appearances.

The full-back, who made his Italian national team debut this season, moved to Torino on a permanent basis from Cagliari Calcio, and has impressed throughout the campaign following a momentous loan spell at the San Siro.

Bellanova predomaaintly plays at right-back, a position Walker has held at the Etihad Stadium since signing from Tottenham for £50 million in 2017.

The 33-year-old was named as Manchester City captain ahead of the current season, and returns to former club Spurs on Tuesday evening, where a victory would leave the Sky Blues just one win away from a fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Walker, who is also expected to go to the European Championships with England this summer, has made 298 appearances for Manchester City to date, winning 16 trophies, including both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this season.

Bellanova has revealed the inspirational role of the Englishman, saying: “Over the years, I have started to learn from Kyle Walker, I see myself in him from a physical and technical standpoint.

“As a child, I was an Inter fan, so I always watched Maicon. But we are two different players.”

Bellanova could come up against Walker this summer, should the pair both be selected by their respective nations for the Euro’s in Germany.