We asked Gianluca Mancini to recommend five of his favourite films for fans to watch during the current quarantine period...
The Italy international centre-back, a key player for coach Paulo Fonseca ever since his arrival in the summer, is celebrating his birthday on Friday - and to mark the occasion we thought we'd get a few of his film recommendations.
“I really like films, even if I don’t get to go out to the cinema that often," Mancini said.
"Generally speaking I watch most of my films on away trips or while travelling – otherwise I’m at home, watching with my wife.”
Here are a few of the films the 24-year-old reckons are worth watching during the current lockdown...
“This is one of the films I’ve seen recently. My wife persuaded me to watch it, as we’ve got a bit of time right now. And I have to say that in the end I liked it; it’s a love story about a guy and a girl who start off very differently but end up going through a really emotional journey together.”
Any Given Sunday
“I don’t think this film needs too much introduction. It’s a great sports story, and for those of us who work in the business the speech Al Pacino makes is one that fires you up and really gets the blood pumping.
"But beyond that it’s a film about a group, a team, about a spirit similar to what we have in our squad.”
“I’ve chosen this film, the sixth in the series, but really I’m using it to include the whole Rocky saga. In this film we see Rocky step back into the ring despite the fact he is a lot older, and it tells a nice story: that passion and bravery doesn’t have an age limit.
"In the end what matters isn’t who wins or who loses, but what the individual gives to his sport and what the sport gives back.
"Every Rocky film, I have to say, has always sent that underlying message: that dedication and sacrifice are fundamental for any sportsperson who wants to reach their goals.”
Perfetti Sconosciuti ('Perfect Strangers')
“The plot to this film is amazing, it surprises you from start to finish. Beyond the depiction of who relationships between two people can change and evolve, and how phones have changed how we behave these days, there is something in the film that always stuck with me.
"It's when Marco Giallini says; ‘You have to be capable of defusing situations and not turn every argument into a battle to be won. I don't think backing off is a sign of weakness. I see that the couples who go the distance are the ones where one of the two is willing to take a step back – because it's actually a step forward.’ It’s an idea that has stuck with me.”
"The last film on this list, so it makes sense for it to be football-related. It’s never easy to make a film about our sport, especially because so much of the action is difficult to recreate on screen. There was a time when I dreamed about becoming a professional and in this film the main character, Santiago Munez, starts from nothing and ends up chasing his biggest dream.
"You see his desire to make it, the struggles he goes through, the importance to anyone of meeting the right people at the right time; his family, his friends, and the woman he loves for who he is and not what he can do.”