The centre-back likened his team-mates to animated characters and explained his reasons why

Sampdoria star Maya Yoshida has given words of encouragement to fellow team-mates Manolo Gabbiadini and Morten Thorsby.

Thorsby has been a key player for the Italian side this season, taking in 27 appearances across all competitions.

Gabbiadini was equally crucial to Sampdoria before he suffered a cruciate ligament rupture that will see him out of action until the summer.

According to Calcio Mercato, Yoshida said: “Gabbiadini is our Goku: he comes back stronger after every injury!

“Meanwhile, Thorsby is Pikachu because he cares about environment and therefore he likes electric energy.”

This isnt the first time aforementioned animated characters have appeared in relation to football, with two players already adopting their monikers as nicknames.

Spanish midfielder Francisco Javier Martin Medina, formerly of Granada and Cadiz,already earned himself the nickname Goku, though he is less well known than Sampdorias stars.

Elsewhere, Brazilian footballer Glaybson Yago Souza Lisboagot his nickname Yago Pikachu thanks to his relatively short height and electric pace, so not quite the same reason as the environmentally conscious Thorsby.

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