Life as a teenager is tough; we all went through the mill during that fairly miserable stage of wallowing in self pity and disliking those around us. And one of the many downsides to this spot-riddled period of adolescent groaning is the financial struggle. The soon-to-be ex-Milan goalkeeper, Gianluigi Donnarumma, knows this better than any of us.
Right from the word ‘puberty’, something happens to us humans that makes us unimaginably greedy.
We’ve all been there. Your mates are hitting the pub with a phoney ID from their mate dodgy Dave, but you’ve got sod all money to burn. You spend countless hours bartering with your parents for an extra fiver or, at the very least, a couple beers from the fridge.
With little chance to work, being a teenager really can be quite the economic struggle. Poor guys.
There’s just so much crap to waste hard earned money on.
And this natural tendency to become some sort of wallet-sucking leech doesn’t just vanish as your teenage years roll by. Oh, no.
Neither, apparently, does it fade with increasing wealth and fame.
So you can imagine how an 18-year-old footballer would react to the chance to further his wage packet without having to promise he’d take the bins out.
SPOTTED: Italian fans shower Gianluigi Donnarumma with ‘fake money’ after he declined a new Milan contract. 👀🇮🇹💸 pic.twitter.com/Awe5Op4IVv
— SPORF (@Sporf) June 18, 2017
Yes, Gianluigi Donnarumma is no different to any other troubled teen. We caught up with him to find out just what happens in an average day.
“Mornings, lads. Glad you could make it so early. Have you only just woken up, too?”
Donnarumma eyed us lazily in a Scooby Doo dressing gown as the Italian sun began to set, around eight o’clock in the evening.
“Blimey, I’m knackered to tell you the truth. I’ve only slept for 16 hours and a growing young man like me needs a good rest. I’ll just get Mum to make me some breakfast real quick.”
Returning with some Ready Brek, a Munch Bunch and a can of Red Bull, the Italian teen settled down to talk with us. We asked how an average day started.
“Like this, really. A bright and early start. Mum does me a nutritious breakfast and then I’m ready for the day. I’d normally head to the shower first and spend about an hour and a half preening in the bathroom. Then I’d check my phone for a while. You know, just the essentials.”
“So, having refreshed my Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Insta, Whatsapp, Houseparty and Myspace – I’m an old school fella, you see – I’ll get dressed. Sometimes I’ll get mum to help if I need to do any buttons or whatever but normally I’m okay without. About an hour or so later I’ll be all ready.”
“Though, if I don’t have training I’ll take my time a bit.”
Arrigo Sacchi on Gianluigi Donnarumma: “This decision makes me doubt not just his personal integrity, but also what his future will hold.” pic.twitter.com/7JhA6qap9N
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) June 17, 2017
At this point we took a break. Donnarumma’s iPhone started to ping.
“Sorry about that, boys. My mate Antonio just updated his BBM status about his bird, Anna, and, well, s**t has hit the fan. Oh, don’t tell Mum I said that word, please. She’ll take one of the stars of my wall chart.”
“Anyway, where were we? Oh, yeah. Then I’ll head off to training. That’s a bit of a non-event, really. I only go and play with those old blokes because they used to go into the shops and get me a pack of four and a ten deck for the weekend. But I’m a big boy now and can do it myself, I sort of go as a continued thank you. And I don’t get bloody paid if I don’t.”
“Now, this is the exciting bit. On the way back from training, I take a detour to the Fontana di Piazza Castello in Milan. It’s a massive fountain, you see. People throw coins into it for good luck. Now, and don’t tell anyone this, but I go for a cheeky little splash when it’s quiet and fill my pockets with as many Euros as I can.”
“It’s bloody brilliant. Most days I’ll leave with one, maybe two, hundred coins. I’ve got very big pockets, right.”
Almost in a frightened moment of epiphany, the young shot stopper asked us this.
“You lot are English, right? Where do you reckon there’s more profitable fountains, Manchester, Paris or Madrid? Only, Manchester looks a bit grotty from time to time and so I doubt I’d have much luck fishing around there. I’d really have to drive up the salary then…”
“Not that I’m driven by money or anything.”
We didn’t doubt him. After a few more social media check-ups, half a pint of Freederm and a row with his parents, Donnarumma returned to us.
“So, what next? Ah, yeah. A while after training I normally get a call from Mino Raiola, my agent.”
“‘Ah, Gianluigi’ he says. ‘So nice to talk, my friend.'”
“‘How do you fancy the sound of a weekend break in Madrid? Just me and you; the lads, the stags, the chaps. Couple of jars and some of that Spanish sun sounds good, no?'”
“He often asks me if I want to go for weekend breaks with him, but always says I have to take plenty of clothes, my family and a pen. ‘Just in case’, he says. It’s very odd.”
“I say to him, ‘here, Mino, those trips sound costly, pal. I ain’t paying for it. And if I am, it’s a Ryanair and Premier Inn job, okay?’ But normally I decline the trips because he makes ridiculous suggestions. ‘I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow, Gianluigi’, he’ll tell me. Pfft, he’s having a laugh. Three o’clock? No chance, mate.”
“Anyway, why should I go anywhere? If anything, I’ll just be missing out on a few sessions with the boys. And besides, I shouldn’t have to do anything, because I’m a growing young man. I get really angry with him.”
“Now get out of my room and leave me alone, I hate everyone.”
And that was that. Surprised, we did as we were told. As we left the Donnarumma residence, we heard the faint sound of Justin Bieber wafting through the air, mixed with muffled shouts of ‘it’s so unfair’.
But we left him to it. And, upon driving away from the teenager’s self-proclaimed ‘pimp pad’, we saw Mino Raiola, looking speculatively at the ground outside. Eventually he bent down and picked up a ten cent coin. ‘I’ll save that for later. Who needs a bloody fountain?’ he muttered.