Gravina stands by Spalletti: “We won’t abandon him, the project is long-term”


FIGC head Gabriele Gravina says the federation will stand by Luciano Spalletti, despite Italy’s elimination from Euro 2024. The team’s performance in Germany was dismal and left no room for excuses, but despite the poor performances, Gravina believes Spalletti is still the right man for the job.

Speaking at a press conference was held in Iserlohn, Germany, Gravina addressed the media, providing clarity on Spalletti’s future and other pressing matters.

Collective Responsibility

Gravina began by expressing gratitude to everyone involved in the team’s efforts: “I thank all our collaborators who provided everything necessary for the team and technical staff. Approximately 40,000 attendees at Casa Azzurri is a positive sign. Today is a day of mixed emotions and reflections after yesterday’s disappointment. We are sorry for not giving Italian fans the joy they deserved. The result is subject to many variables, including defeat. What remains is the disappointment of not being able to repay all the efforts made. We must all reflect on this disappointment. Last night, the coach, Buffon, and the entire team acknowledged our shared responsibilities. We have nothing to hide; we are all responsible.”

Spalletti Confirmed

Gravina confirmed Spalletti’s continuation as head coach: “We spoke with the coach, and I am very pragmatic. We cannot abandon a long-term project after just a few months. Changes are needed in our approach. We all need to grow. When you fall, you must rise with the strength of the project and hard work. I face problems head-on and do not shy away from responsibilities. We must distinguish between political and technical responsibilities to avoid politicizing technical issues. The sense of responsibility requires clarity from me; we cannot take actions that could cause even greater damage. We have made mistakes in the past, but we are addressing them with a long-term project.”

Trust in Spalletti

Gravina reiterated his trust in Spalletti: “Spalletti has our trust. In 60 days, a new challenge begins, and we cannot expect Italy to suddenly produce players like Mbappé, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Messi. We must nurture the talent we have. All our youth teams have qualified for the final stages. The players have shown great commitment, but we need to see results.”

Resignations and Criticism

Addressing calls for resignations, Gravina stated: “Criticism hurts everyone, but we must use it to improve. Constructive and legitimate criticism should be considered, but calls for resignations in this context are not acceptable. No one can demand resignations from outside the federation’s governance. The term ends in March 2025, and elections will take place at the earliest opportunity, not before the Olympics. We will have a democratic confrontation, which is the only legitimate forum.”

Youth and Foreign Players in Serie A

Gravina discussed the challenges of promoting young talent: “National and international laws limit certain choices regarding the use of young players. It’s a cultural issue: 67% of Serie A players are foreigners, and only 32-33% are eligible for the national team. We are resisting the liberalization of non-EU player registrations. Developing youth academies is an investment, not a cost. We must all agree on a project to promote young talent; otherwise, nothing can be imposed.”

Spalletti’s Reflections

Luciano Spalletti also spoke, expressing gratitude and reflecting on the team’s performance: “I thank the fans for their support, the players for their professionalism, and the staff for their quality and willingness to find solutions. I regret not showcasing their quality. I don’t dwell on regrets or remorse; we can’t turn back time. I made mistakes, tried to rejuvenate the team, and will continue to do so.”

Moving Forward

Spalletti acknowledged the need for improvement: “You haven’t seen the best Spalletti in these 10 months; otherwise, I would be saying different things. I’ve been told I raised the tone too much and relied on myths, but that’s my life. We need examples to follow. I came in with an urgency for results, and we did well up to a point. We didn’t grow in this short journey, and yesterday was a significant step back that we cannot accept. But we will start again from there. I think I know what to do and will put it into practice.”


Serie A obsessive.