Valencia striker Simone Zaza revealed his penalty miss for Italy during Euro 2016 was the worst moment of his career, as it resulted in many sleepless nights.
The former Juventus man became the subject of countless jokes and memes after his stuttering-run up and dreadful finish in the quarter-final shootout against Germany.
Zaza admits he struggled to cope with the negative press directed his way after the miss, though he won’t shy from taking one in the future if he is called upon.
“It was the worst moment of my career, especially because of what happened afterward,” he told Fox Sports.
“It’s my fault, because I didn’t know how to bounce back immediately after what happened. I got bogged down in the negativity.
“I didn’t ask to take the penalty, as the truth is I haven’t been a great player from the spot. However in training with the national team I never missed, so I took it.
“I didn’t sleep at night. I have to thank my girlfriend and parents, as they stayed close to me. I’ll take another penalty sooner or later.”
Gian Piero Ventura has so far refused to call up the 26-year-old, but Zaza is working hard to get back in the Italy team.
“It’s normal that I’d like to return to the national team,” he added. “However if I haven’t been called up again it’s because I haven’t deserved it.
“I have to do more than what I’ve done so far. My goal is to get called up next time, and the time after that.
“Talking is pointless because in the end I don’t make the decisions so I have to keep my head down and push forward.”
Zaza has netted six goals in seven appearances for Valencia this season.
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