Bastoni: “We respect Croatia, but we’ll redeem ourselves”


Azzurri defender Alessandro Bastoni says Italy can’t be afraid ahead of their crunch match with Croatia in Euro 2024. The Azzurri suffered a torrid loss against Spain in their last group stage match, and though a draw could be sufficient to advance to the knockout stages, Bastoni insists that the team can’t afford to be afraid:

“Fear is a word I don’t like to associate with football. Fear is for much more serious things than a football match” . He acknowledged Croatia’s strength, noting their ability to create chances even against Spain, and expressed respect for their experienced squad.

Bastoni emphasized that the heavy defeat against Spain has united the Italian team even more. “I believe our true values have emerged in these days,” he added .

Addressing the notion of Croatia being at the end of a cycle but still dangerous, Bastoni reflected on the evolution of football tactics. “Maybe 50 years ago, there was more focus on hard tackles or physical play. Against Spain, we lacked self-confidence and courage” .

Regarding the tactical shift to a four-man defense, Bastoni explained, “Clearly, playing in a back three or four changes a lot, but even at Inter, I often find myself in an unfamiliar role. I think the key is knowing how to read the game” .

The defender also addressed the team’s perceived lack of competitive aggression. “Beyond the many misplaced passes and technical errors, there was also a mistake in attitude. This is also due to not having the ball at our feet. The more we can keep possession, the more dangerous we’ll be” .

Bastoni reiterated his stance on fear in football: “Fear should not exist in this sport. Fear stays outside. We’ve understood our mistakes. When you lose, you either get discouraged or find new motivations, and football always gives us a second chance” .

Commenting on his partnership with Calafiori in defense, Bastoni said, “I get along well with Calafiori. I see myself in him from a few years ago. Of course, we’ve only played two games together, so it will take time” .


Serie A obsessive.