Fiorentina forward Giovanni Simeone out to emulate father's success

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Fiorentina forward Giovanni Simeone said he has had to work hard to emerge from the "burdensome" shadows of his father, but believes his determination to have a similarly successful career.

Simeone is heading into his second season with La Viola having scored 14 goals in 38 appearances last term, following a move from Genoa -- his first club in Italian football.

His father, Diego, had three spells in Italy -- with Pisa, Inter Milan and Lazio -- and Giovanni admits his father's success means he could just sit at home with his feet up, without worrying about earning a living.

However, he says he is out to prove that he can have a successful career of his own accord, and not be known merely as Diego's son.

"It's not true that footballers who come from poor families have more hunger compared to those with rich parents," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I have the right 'garra' [drive], even if my parents are well off.

"Hunger is something which should come from your heart, and you need it to excel in any walk of life. Lots of people have asked me: 'why don't you just relax on a beach in the Caribbean for the rest of your life instead of working so hard? It's not like you have a money problem.' But I've set myself objectives and I'm ready to work hard for them.

"My father has also been a burdensome figure. I got into River's youth system because I was called Simeone and at the start, everybody was giving me suspicious glances. It was like I was walking in the shadows of my father. It was tough, believe me.

"The starting point is in your mind. In my case, also my feet. I was not born a champion, but thanks to my mentality, I've succeeded where players who were potentially better than me have failed. The finest example of my philosophy has now arrived in Italy -- Cristiano Ronaldo.

"He wasn't born a phenomenal player, but he became it with his work and his desire. CR7 is a model to follow. Humility is my best ally. I've not done anything yet in my career."

He hopes that will change on an individual and club level in the near future, predicting an improvement for his club Fiorentina on last season, when they finished eighth.

"On paper, we are better than we were a year ago, but let's not get carried away," he said. "Lazio, AC Milan, Atalanta and Torino have improved. We've got to set European football as an objective, but not as an obsession.

"With Federico [Chiesa], we've taken big steps forward in getting to know each other, also off the field. We're a great three-pronged attack [with Marko Pjaca] and I am aiming to score 15 goals."

Fiorentina begin their Serie A campaign with a trip to Sampdoria on Sunday evening.