Italian journalist Francesco Cosatti has seen stadiums from Russia to Brazil to Japan. He said Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which bills itself as the best, is one of the best.
“It’s incredible, amazing,” said Cosatti, who works for Sky Sports Italia.
Cosatti is in town covering Juventus, which will play the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Cosatti said when the crew arrived, they looked around and one word expressed their amazement at the $1.5 billion stadium.
Juventus’ players had the same reaction. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny said he liked the halo board. Forward Federico Bernardeschi agreed that the stadium is among the world’s best.
“It is really a very beautiful stadium,” he said. “I hope there are a lot of people who will come to see us play.”\
Bernardeschi said the stadium is a sign of the growth of the MLS.
“I see that the values of sport and specifically soccer in the U.S.A. are becoming more important,” he said.
Cosatti has been to Wembley, which he said is incredible. He’s been to the Bernabeu in Madrid, which he likes for its history. He appreciates the San Siro in Milan, which he said is amazing on a Champions League night. He’s been to the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
But he said there’s not anything like the architecture of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“This is maybe first, second or third in the world for me,” said Cosatti, who has been covering soccer since he was 18 years old.
The architecture isn’t the only reason that Cosatti looks forward to covering Wednesday’s game.
Access to players and teams for journalists in Italy is different than in the United States. Typically, because they are rights holders, they get to do two interviews a week, as well as pregame and postgame interviews. MLS teams are much more available to media. Atlanta United will typically make between 6-8 players and manager Gerardo Martino available during the week. TV crews are allowed to record 10-15 minutes of training sessions on days of media availability. Cosatti said Juventus gives Sky Sports Italia a few minutes each week to record training.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri, defender Giorgio Chiellini and midfielder Miralem Pjanic spoke at a news conference Monday. A few players spoke Tuesday.
“I’ve been with Sky for 11 years,” he said. “Done this since I was 18 and I’ve never been in a locker room.”