Toloi left EURO 2020 winners medal in Brazil

Rafael Toloi is ready to begin a new season with Atalanta and reveals his mum did not let him take the EURO 2020 winners medal to Italy.

Toloi, a Brazil-born defender with Italian passport, was part of the Azzurri squad that won the Euros in the summer.

“It was all really nice, I worked with a fantastic group of players and men, everything was special,” Toloi told Atalanta’s official website.

“I did everything to live it to the fullest. Every training, every moment together, at lunch and at dinner. Every video, every trip. I did it with the utmost joy and pleasure as it was amazing to be part of a very strong group,” the 30-year-old continued.

“It’s difficult to find the words, it was an immense joy, a dream come true and I’m very happy to have been part of this group.”

Toloi returned to Brazil to enjoy some holidays after the Euros.

“It was special because I hadn’t been to my parents’ house for two years, I was able to see all my family and friends that I have had since I was little. This gave me a good boost to get back on track and start the new season,” he said.

“Then, in my village, of 3,000 inhabitants, they are all Italians, they had a great party when I arrived, so I thank them for everything. They helped me so much to get where I am today.”

However, when he returned to Italy, the Euros winners medal was not in his luggage.

“I wanted to bring the medal home, but my mum didn’t let me do it,” Toloi revealed.

“She keeps all my trophies and medals and it’s fair because this is the most important medal I’ve ever won.

“It’s fair that it stays with her because, without her, I would never have got here.”

What does he expect from the new season with La Dea?

“It’s going to be a difficult one for sure, but we’ve got a strong team with many strong players and we really want to keep doing well and to bring Atalanta as high as possible in all competitions,” Toloi said.

“It is very important to prepare and work hard in this pre-season because we have to do our best in every match and training. I’m sure we’ve got whatever it takes for another season at the highest level.

“We are a beautiful family and we have everything to do well.”