Scamacca: “After being left out of the squad in March, I saw a psychologist…”


Azzurri and Atalanta striker Gianluca Scamacca dismissed claims he is ‘lazy’, and admitted to seeing a psychologist after being left out of the Italy squad in March. The 25-year-old was speaking to the press ahead of Italy’s EURO 2024 opening match with Albania this weekend:

Did you feel underestimated until recently?

“We’re a young group, starting a new cycle, and it took some time for us to show our strength. We’re ready now, and we’ll demonstrate our capability in this European Championship. I’m feeling good and aim to help the team as much as possible, reaching the furthest we can.”

Do you have a role model wearing the number 9?

“I want to emulate the 2021 team that won the European Championship and the 2006 team that won the World Cup. They left their mark, and I want to leave mine in the history of the national team.”

What do you fear about Albania?

“It will be a tough match. At this stage, every game is difficult because only the teams that deserve to be in the European Championship are here. But Italy must focus on itself and give the best performance possible.”

Do you think you can be the standout player of this European Championship?

“This is an important moment for us and my career. I’m coming off a strong end to the season and hope to bring positivity and goals from what I’ve learned this year.”

Would you like to say anything to Gasperini? What has he brought out in you? “If I’m here, it’s largely thanks to him. This year, he helped me a lot and pushed the right buttons to make things click. I owe him a lot.”

Do you consider yourself lazy?

“Well, I don’t think so. Just being here shows that I’m not lazy.”

Spalletti mentioned it…

“He might have meant a lot behind that single word. Certainly, he has pushed and motivated me, which is good. But personally, I don’t feel lazy.”

When did you realize you could be Italy’s striker?

“I’m one of Italy’s strikers. I’m happy to be part of this group and to have this wonderful experience.”

Do you feel pressure? How much confidence did winning the Europa League give you?

“Last year was tough with the meniscus injury, but this year has been fantastic. We won a trophy Atalanta had never won. Strong players handle pressure, and if that’s the case, it’s nice to have it. Every day is a challenge.”

Do you prefer assists over goals? Did Spalletti make the right decision not taking you to the USA?

“I often hear about a lack of aggression, but I try to be useful to the team. Winning is the most important thing, not who scores. Yes, he made the right decision. I didn’t deserve that call-up, and he was right not to select me.”

How do you envision your debut against Albania?

“I imagine and dream of a winning start. I hope we kick off on the right foot with a victory.”

How are training sessions with Djimsiti?

“He’s a good defender, tough and physical. A solid player.”

Does playing in this Italian team help you? Is it similar to Atalanta?

“No, at Atalanta we play man-to-man, whereas this is more tactical. But I feel comfortable with both styles. Spalletti’s ideas, with lots of movement and possession, suit me perfectly.”

Is playing with Frattesi and Pellegrini your dream trio? How does it feel to have many Roma players around?

“The most important thing is the desire to win. I play for Atalanta, not Roma, but it’s great to be in the national team.”

What has changed in your mindset over the past three months?

“I’ve had a few injuries. If you’re not fit, you can’t play under Gasperini or in football in general. In the last three months, I’ve regained my consistency, and things have gone well since.”

What is required of a striker under Spalletti?

“He needs to help the team press, direct the pressing, and limit spaces. With the ball, the coach gives us a lot of freedom, except for some specific instructions. It’s up to us to find each other.”

Did the exclusion from the USA squad help you?

Yes, definitely. I even saw a psychologist… (laughs).”

Did Totti say anything special to you on the ‘Fantastic 10’ day at Coverciano?

“He just said, ‘You’re bigger in person,’ that’s all.”


Serie A obsessive.