Vincenzo Italiano: ‘The boys were extraordinary’


Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano was full of praise for his team after they reached the Conference League final: ‘The boys were extraordinary’. La Viola edged through a tightly contested semi final, thanks to a late Lucas Beltran penalty, which made it 4-3 on aggregate against Club Brugge. Speaking post-match (via, Italiano couldn’t hide his excitement at heading to their second consecutive European final:

“I did everything to reach the final and receive compliments (laughs). It’s extraordinary to reach the final two years in a row. We did well to score from the penalty spot, despite the curse of hitting the woodwork that haunts us. The boys were extraordinary.”

Italiano expressed his happiness at reaching the final for the second consecutive year and the emotions he experienced in the moments leading up to Beltran’s decisive penalty kick. He recalled his promise to Fiorentina fans upon his arrival in Florence, stating, “When I arrived in Florence, I told the fans that I would do everything to play in Europe. We achieved that in the first year and even managed to reach two finals. I am happy because we are going to the final again this year. This season, we have been unlucky with hitting the woodwork and penalties. Beltran did well to take on the responsibility. I saw Nico with the ball first and then Beltran. They have a very close relationship, and I let them resolve it among themselves.”

Italiano concluded his interview by analyzing the game’s development, noting, “I think we started a bit timidly and showed too much respect for Club Brugge. In the first few minutes, we conceded too many passes. After conceding the goal, we loosened up and started to increase the pressure. In the first half, we had several chances, and at halftime, we told ourselves to continue playing like that. It was an excellent performance from everyone.”

Beltran, who converted the crucial penalty, shared his thoughts on the moment and his partnership with Nico Gonzalez. He emphasized the importance of staying focused and confident, stating, “The less you think, the better, because you don’t have to realize the responsibilities. It’s better to go securely, calmly, not too fast, of course, but you shouldn’t think about the weight, the value. In the end, the ball went in, and we are in the final. More than the sound of my heart, from the spot, the only thing I heard was the fans. But I tried to isolate myself and remain as calm as possible and put it in. Nico asked me if I was sure, and I said yes, that I would like to take it, so I did.”

Looking towards the future, Beltran spoke about his aspirations and his relationship with Fiorentina legend, Batistuta, expressing pride in wearing the club’s jersey. He said, “We always dream of something big, having ambitious goals, working hard, and giving our all. I am very proud to be in this great club, which has very passionate fans, in a great city with a beautiful training center. I feel great in Florence, I realize it more every day, and the goal is to make Fiorentina even greater. With Batistuta, we had dinner, there were him and other friends. We talked about football and life; for me, it’s an honor to wear this shirt, to carry the number of a player who made history for the team and the city. I would like to be a worthy successor, for Florence and Fiorentina. The fans always support us in Italy and throughout Europe, as I said, this makes me happy to be here.”

Beltran concluded by discussing the team’s unity, highlighting their reliance on captain Cris Biraghi’s guidance and the importance of learning from experienced players to improve and grow. He stated, “We follow our captain, Cris; we try to listen to everything he says, they are always useful tips to improve and grow. We always try to gain more confidence and security, I try to listen to people with more experience to improve, and I think I am doing it.”


Serie A obsessive.