Just over 18-months ago Franco Ravizzoli made the brave decision to leave Argentina in order to pursue a professional career in England – a risk that has come to fruition after he penned a professional deal with MK Dons.
A product of River Plate’s academy, Ravizzoli moved to England in January 2020 where he signed for National League South side, Eastbourne Borough. It was at Priory Lane where the 23-year-old got his first taste of English football - featuring 33 times for Eastbourne before their season was curtailed.
Leaving his family and friends in Argentina was a difficult decision to make for Ravizzoli, but having signed on at Stadium MK, the goalkeeper feels his decision was justified.
“I’m so proud, it’s been tough to leave my family about two years ago,” Ravizzoli told iFollow MK Dons. “It’s been tough for all of us, when they see I’ve joined, they will be so proud.
“I miss them, I wanted to go back to Argentina last year, but with Covid, I couldn’t. It’s been tough - this is for them.”
Ravizzoli’s story is similar to that of Sergio Torres, who has had a big influence on the career of his fellow countryman. Torres began his career in Argentina with Quilmes de Mar del Plata and also spent time with Club Atlético Banfield.
In November 2003, Torres would depart his homeland to move to England in hope of securing a professional contract. Featuring for Non-League sides Molesey and Basingstoke Town, Torres saw his dream turn into reality when he penned a deal with Wycombe Wanderers.
His journey into the English came was one Revizzoli used as inspiration, and the Goalkeeper was full of praise for the 39-year-old and his family for helping him achieve his goal.
“Sergio showed me it’s possible, he and his family helped me so much, I live with them and have done since I moved over. He has given me so much advice - and his career was so successful. From where he started to where he played, he was a professional for nine years in England, I see his career and it made me think I can do it as well.
‘I came to England about 18-months ago, I was playing for River Plate in Argentina and didn’t get the first-team experience. My best friend was here in England, he told me to come over and I wanted a new start - I needed to go learn the English way.
‘Sergio helped me a lot. He took me to Eastbourne and I’m really grateful for them and the opportunity they gave me in English football. Sergio told me I need to play games, wherever it is, to learn the language and the English game and adapt to the weather. He told me he’d help me take the step to professional football.
“I love English football. The best football is here in England – I just said why not.”
Watch a season of football at Stadium MK for no more than £10 per game by purchasing a 2021/22 MK Dons Season Ticket!
The Club have made the decision, for one season only, to cap the maximum price of an Adult Season Ticket in all areas of the stadium at £230.
What’s more, concession prices in several areas of the stadium have been reduced to match the 2020/21 concession prices for the Family Area - the lowest priced area in the stadium. Under-12s will also continue to go FREE along with a paying adult*.
For more information click HERE, call 01908 622922 or visit the Box Office at Stadium MK.