International news: Italy's Marco Parolo reveals Steven Gerrard inspiration
Italy's Marco Parolo has revealed England captain Steven Gerrard was his role model whilst learning his trade.
Last Updated: 13/11/13 5:20pm
The Parma playmaker is set to feature in Friday's international friendly against Germany in Milan.
"I have always been inspired by Gerrard," Parolo said on Wednesday. "I think he is a point of reference for any midfielder of my generation."
Parolo has been impressive in Serie A this season, scoring five goals while providing two assists so far and it is no surprise he was included in Italy coach Cesare Prandelli's latest roster.
The 28-year-old had been called up once before by Prandelli back in March 2011 but never played.
With seven months to go before the World Cup in Brazil, Prandelli will be evaluating prospects in upcoming friendlies against Germany and Nigeria on Monday and Parolo hopes to make an impact.
"There is a lot of competition in the national team," Parolo said. "I will do everything in my power to remain with the Azzurri.
"I think if I am able to repeat all that I have shown this season with Parma, then I could have a chance to be a part of Italy's World Cup squad.
"Right now I'm focusing on the present and I hope I can do well against Germany if I play."
Parolo, who joined Parma from Cesena in June 2012, has thanked his club for giving him his confidence back.
"After Cesena were relegated (to Serie B) last season, I lost a little bit of confidence," Parolo said.
"Thankfully, I have re-discovered it at Parma, thanks to my coach (Roberto) Donadoni and to my team-mates, who are fantastic.
"I believe we are doing a great job and we can achieve good things this season."
Italy take on Germany having finished their qualifying campaign unbeaten and top of Group B with 22 points from 10 games.