Cork City beat the deadline day clock on Wednesday to complete the signing of Italian winger Christian Nanetti.
The 25-year-old has signed from Welling United, having played for a number of non-league clubs in England and Scotland after moving to England from Bologna as sixteen-year-old.
However, it was as a youth player at Queens Park Rangers in 2010 that he enjoyed his first taste of the limelight, all thanks to Sky Sports’ Soccer AM. In their now-defunct Skill Skool series, in which two youth players were pitted against each other, Nanetti came up against none other than future England and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling.
Given three chances each to showcase their talents, the two teenagers displayed plenty of skill in front of their watching and cheering teammates. After a period of deliberation in the Soccer AM studio, Nanetti was then declared the winner by presenter Max Rushden’s casting vote.
Unfortunately for Nanetti, his career path has diverged massively in comparison to his vanquished opponent. Sterling soon left the QPR academy on the road to superstardom at Liverpool and Man City, while Nanetti has struggled to kick-start his career following a number of false starts and becoming something of a journeyman.
Nonetheless, he now moves to Turners Cross in what Welling manager Tristan Lewis called “an offer that [the player] couldn’t refuse.”
— Cork City FC (@CorkCityFC) February 22, 2017
Indeed, it has been a busy 24 hours or so on Leeside. In the midst of preparing for the Premier Division opener against Finn Harps on Friday, manager John Caulfield has also added Lithuanian defender Rimvydas Sadauskas to the side’s ranks on a loan deal until the summer, while wantaway centre-back Kenny Browne has finally completed his move back to Waterford.