Pellegrini: “We need our heads and our hearts against Croatia”


Italy number 10, Lorenzo Pellegrini, shared his thoughts ahead of the crucial EURO 2024 match against Croatia. Pellegrini spoke with and emphasized the importance of both heart and heads in their approach to the game.

Italy started their campaign with a convincing win against Albania but stumbled against Spain. Pellegrini acknowledged the atmosphere in the team has shifted since the loss to Spain. “The atmosphere is not the same as after the Albania match. Spain played well, and we didn’t perform up to Italy’s standards. It was a tough game, but it has taught us what to expect moving forward. Our focus is already on the next match. Our goal is to advance from the group, and we will give everything to achieve it.”

Pellegrini highlighted the lessons learned from the match against Spain. “There are many takeaways. Coach Spalletti wants us to dominate games, and that remains our objective. We didn’t manage that against Spain, but we will pay attention to every detail to become the team we aspire to be.”

The midfielder expressed the team’s determination to prove themselves as the reigning European champions. “Absolutely. We know many things have changed, and there are many strong teams, but we are here to compete with everyone and give our 100%. Making predictions is difficult, but we are a united group, following the coach’s instructions to the letter. We will continue to do so to achieve satisfaction and make our fans proud.”

As the captain of Roma and wearing the number 10 jersey for Italy, Pellegrini feels a personal responsibility to lead. “One of my goals is to transmit my personality and calmness to my teammates because these matches bring different emotions compared to club games. This was missing against Spain, and it must not happen again. Now is the time to bring out the best in each of us.”

Despite needing only a draw to advance, Pellegrini insists Italy will play to win. “We will face Croatia to dominate the game and win it. Croatia is a strong team with incredible players. They started poorly against Spain but played well and created many chances. We will aim to control the game and respond to whatever happens on the field.”

Pellegrini acknowledged Croatia’s mix of quality and experience, noting that many of their players might be in their last tournament. “It’s true; we have many players experiencing this for the first time, including myself, as I missed the 2020 tournament due to injury. It’s normal to feel some emotion initially. We must understand that we represent our people and strive to do that little bit extra.”

Pellegrini praised Croatian star Luka Modrić. “Modrić is an exceptional player, and I don’t need to say it. He is a self-made player with impressive quality and great personality. In difficult moments, you can always count on him, making him a model for many players.”

Pellegrini concluded by stressing the need for both heart and mind in such crucial matches. “We need both because one without the other won’t get you far. The heart is essential because when you wear the national team jersey, you represent an entire nation. It’s a huge responsibility, and you need the personality to take it on. The mind is crucial because, in important matches, details make the difference, and the mind helps a lot with that.”


Serie A obsessive.