Young Kiwi footballer Liberato Cacace attracts attention of Italian giants Juventus

Liberato Cacace has been playing football in Europe for less than half a year.

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He spoke exclusively with 1 NEWS Sport’s Chris Chang. Source: 1 NEWS

But already the Sint-Truiden player is attracting the interest of Italian heavyweights Juventus.

The links to the Turin outfit were raised when respected football journalist Fabrizio Romano tweeted that Juve were interested in signing Cacace for their under-23 side.

Now the player himself has confirmed to 1 NEWS there has been contact from Italy.

“That's given me a lot of confidence to keep going. Hopefully things eventuate and things can happen.

“It just shows that if you put your head down and work hard, anything can happen."

The 20-year-old admits the interest is “early days”.

But the son of Italian parents has never hidden his professional ambitions or love for the country.

He has family living in the Amalfi Coast.

"I think that would be my dream, to sign for an Italian club in Serie A. My ultimate dream would be to play for Napoli."

The All White's rise has been swift.

Signed in September, Cacace was given a reality check with his side embroiled in a relegation battle in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League.

He quickly established himself at left wing back and has helped steer the club towards safety.

“I’ve got two assists to my name this season, but I’m getting closer every time with a goal. It’s coming.

“I’m pretty desperate. Once it does happen a lot will come after that — I just need to get that first one.”

The relentless schedule has helped him get in the best shape of his life.

He’s fitter, faster, and lighter – without losing any power.

“I measured myself this morning. I was 81kgs. When I left the Phoenix, I was 85kgs. A lot of fat burned off, I think.”

Cacace says it’s flattering to have his good run of form recognised.

“Obviously once you go on a good run and you start to win games, teams are going to look at you.”

But he is keenly aware of the benefits of sitting tight in Belgium for now.

"I'm still 20. I think it's important to make sure the next steps are right for you,” he says.

“You look at a lot of players, they took the big step early and some of them are back in the A-League already.

“I chose this club for a reason, you know — to play — and I think that's important for me and for young ones to play.

“I'm not going to worry if it comes in one year or five. I'm just going to take my time, take the right steps, and hopefully it'll come my way."