Domenico Berardi thrilled with display
Sassuolo striker Domenico Berardi looked back on a night he will "never forget" as he saved his coach Eusebio Di Francesco's job with all four goals in a 4-3 win over AC Milan on Sunday.
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Berardi, 19, became the youngest ever player to score four goals in an Italian top-flight fixture, putting the Rossoneri to the sword with a performance which even received praise from opponent and potential future Italy team mate Mario Balotelli.
"Compliments to Berardi and good luck. Truly fantastic," Balotelli tweeted on Sunday night.
Berardi complimenti e in bocca al lupo. Bravo davvero .— Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario) January 12, 2014
The youngster’s four goals helped lift Sassuolo out of the Serie A relegation zone and took him joint-second with Carlos Tevez in the league’s scoring charts, three goals behind Giuseppe Rossi.
"It's a day I'll never forget," Berardi told Sky Sport Italia. "I dedicate these four goals to [team mate Francesco] Acerbi, to my family and to my girlfriend."
He also dedicated the win to his under-fire coach, who was widely expected to be relieved of his duties in the event of a defeat.
"Our coach was fighting for his job and I'm delighted for him," Berardi said of Di Francesco. "He's brought us from Serie B into Serie A and he has a big heart, like all of us."
Berardi will celebrate the performance with his return to the Italy setup, having been called up for a training camp with the U21s after a nine-month absence.
The forward, whose registration lies with Juventus, declined a call-up to the U19s for a qualifying tournament in Russia last May. He was consequently banned for nine months for having violated the national team's code of conduct.