Italia football player Gianluca Nazzaro has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship by the Fulbright Council of Italy.
He is the first Italian player to receive this award in five years.
“It’s an honor, and I’m very happy,” Nazzario said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to become part of this great Italian institution.
It’s a great honour and I will continue to work hard in my studies and try to make the most of it.”
Fulbright has become the second-most prestigious award in the sport in recent years, after the Footballer of the Year award.
The award is given to players from under-represented groups who are working towards their dream of playing in Europe’s top leagues.
The Italian Football Federation has a history of supporting and rewarding young Italians, including the first ever Italian footballer to play for a national side in 1994, Alessandro Costacurta.
Nazzarro was a midfielder at the start of the 2018/19 season and made his debut as a substitute in the Champions League against Ajax.
In Serie A, Nazzarian won the league, the Coppa Italia and the Coppo Italia.
Nuzzaro said he was very happy to receive the award.
“My family has been asking me to sign for a long time, and it’s nice to be recognised with such an honour,” he said.
The Fulbright Foundation was founded by the late Sir David Attenborough in 2002 to support talented youngsters in the world of sport.
“We were the first to recognise young Italians for their outstanding contributions in sport, and we’re delighted to be able to continue to give support to the young athletes in Italy and around the world,” said Alina Vittori, president of the foundation.