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Giorgio Chiellini has hailed his international teammates as having a sense of responsibility and a pinch of insanity.

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11 Jun 2021
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Giorgio Chiellini

The Italians faced one of the worst nights in their football history when they were eliminated by Sweden in the qualifying play-off, meaning they could not reach the last World Cup in Russia.

Italy have an exciting young squad

Italy have transformed the frustration of missing out on the 2018 FIFA World Cup into a passion to go far at Euro 2020, admits defender Giorgio Chiellini, who has hailed his international teammates as having “a sense of responsibility and a pinch of insanity.” The Italians faced one of the worst nights in their football history when they were eliminated by Sweden in the qualifying play-off, meaning they could not reach the last World Cup in Russia. Under new manager Roberto Mancini and old heads like Chiellini guiding an exciting young squad, Italy has rebounded onto the big stage. They will face Turkey in the opening match of the rearranged European Championship Friday night in Rome.

The match with full emotions

Chiellini said: “Sweden has remained in Milan, and we will not be able to cancel it, but we have transformed that disappointment into desire and enthusiasm, this feeling that the fans have. We are galvanised for the start of the European Championship, and we can’t wait to go out and experience this emotion all together. It will be an opening match, and it will be even stranger; there are more unknowns and difficulties for both us and for Turkey. It will be a match full of emotions, and we will live it with the bright-heartedness of a group that has a value of power and a pinch of insanity, which in events like this is essential to do something great.”

Recovering from their World Cup nightmare to sail through qualifying for Euro 2020, Italy are among the tournament’s favourites and well fancied to top Group A, which also includes Turkey, Wales, and Switzerland. Mancini, however, wants his players to ignore the renewed expectations and emotions of beating the tournament at home and in front of fans at Stadio Olimpico. He said: “I think after all that happened, the time has come to go back to giving people satisfaction, to entertain them. The first game is always the hardest; we must be free mentally, without thinking about anything else. There is always a little pressure the first time. We will have to play our football while trying to have fun and respect the qualities of Turkey.”

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