Spalletti: “Donnarumma remains captain. Fagioli? A technical choice”


Luciano Spalletti gave his first press conference ahead of the Euro’s, giving the reasons behind his provisional squad. The former Napoli coach touched on the reasons for calling up Juventus midfielder Nicolo Fagioli and why Gigi Donnarumma remains captain:

“The selections? Leaving people out kills me, it bothers me immensely. These are very difficult choices for someone like me. I hope to make the best choice. The captain? Donnarumma remains the captain, and we will see how things progress.”

Spalletti continued: “We want to do something flexible, which everyone would like. Give everyone a bit of freedom of expression. The more unpredictability, the more it would surprise our opponents. We want to be able to do a bit of everything. Here in Coverciano, they teach us that game systems are no longer so rigid.”

On individual players, he added: “Folorunsho is already in that area on the right. Frattesi gets there too, but he also finishes and scores. Folorunsho also has a powerful shot from outside, he is more of an attacking midfielder, a player for these half-spaces, while Frattesi is more of a central midfielder. Orsolini? We haven’t been very lucky with these high wingers, there have been several injuries, in some cases the contribution was lacking. Chiesa can play anywhere, he is the one who has the burst and the shot like a gunshot in the night.”

Regarding the formation the team will use: “We will play against teams that use 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, we cannot afford to give up a man in midfield: we will try to defend with four, build with three. It is evident that the stronger teams now have this relationship, this unpredictability in taking up areas on the field.”

On Locatelli’s exclusion: “I regret leaving out those I’ve left at home, but those I have are the strongest and the ones I’ve chosen. These responsibilities make us happy. I have everything I need. The Federation has been accommodating to all my requests, including bringing together all the number 10s in Italy’s history. Locatelli is another regret I have, I will have few reactions when I meet him except for that of regret. He is a serious person and a serious professional with exceptional defensive qualities and a good foot, but I wanted a bit more creativity. Maybe he is a bit too conservative for where the role is heading. Probably, for the next call-up, I will bring him with me, but I apologize for leaving him out this time.”

On Scamacca: “Scamacca? I just need to see sacrifice because Italy has always been like this. At times, he didn’t convince me, so I left him out. I have no problems with that. However, recently, he has shown growth with performances and goals. He has also had continuity, and I think Atalanta has benefited greatly from this, which is why I called him up previously. He is a player who has a bit of everything, although he can be a bit lazy. He needs to lose that, but maybe he already has.”

Regarding Fagioli: “Fagioli is primarily a technical choice, he has that quality, that flair… He lacks physical confrontation, but I called him up to have more options to manage the game, to have more things to keep the ball with us.”

On the European Championship in general, he said: “My heart beats fast thinking about what will happen there because I have never been there. If Gigi says something more important than mine, it’s fine because I’m not jealous of anyone. Seeing people happy is what matters. It would make us proud to make people happy even if we don’t bring home the Cup. We have to make them feel this. We will still compete with the best in European football in these matches.”


Serie A obsessive.