Spalletti: ‘We are the heroes and giants who are unafraid’


Luciano Spalletti address the press ahead of Italy’s Euro 2024 debut against Albania, comparing his team to ‘heroes and giants’. The Azzurri are the defending champions, but are missing players in certain positions, something Spalletti was asked about ahead of the key match:

How are you feeling? Tomorrow will be a tough match.

“The personal emotion is immense, but as the hours pass, it transforms into a wonderful feeling of happiness rather than tension. We are in a magnificent place to play a beautiful match. I agree, the game will be challenging. Sylvinho has done an excellent job forming this team, and we’ll be up against players familiar with our style of football, showcasing their quality in our league. It will be a tough match.”

Donnarumma might be leaving PSG after Safonov’s arrival. What are your thoughts?

“If Donnarumma leaves PSG, he will find a stronger team. I don’t think his level will decline. He must stay sharp because Italy has many excellent goalkeepers, like Vicario and Meret. It’s a privilege to deal with champions of this caliber.”

What are your expectations for this tournament? Will you be able to showcase your football style in this European Championship?

“While results sometimes differ from our expectations, the trajectory of the ball can be unpredictable. We aim to showcase our brand of football, although there are times when the opponents make it difficult. I believe our team will demonstrate our style. Football involves not just the eleven players on the field but also the 60 million fans, whom we ask to join us and be part of the game.”

Can you clarify the rules about video games for the team?

“I regret having to address comments I didn’t make. My main concern is ensuring the team gets enough sleep. We have a game room with two PlayStations, and even I have played there. However, it’s important to rest at night. Staying up until 3-4 AM is not acceptable. Sleep is crucial, as supported by psychologists and doctors. We must maintain a proper lifestyle. I never said no to playing PlayStation, just not at inappropriate hours.”

Is the team ready to face this opener with personality? Who will replace Acerbi?

“We are the heroes and giants living the dream of every Italian who grew up playing football. We embrace the responsibility and won’t shy away from the challenge. Mancini, with more experience, is a likely replacement for Acerbi, but Bastoni can also lead. Buongiorno and Calafiori show great potential and seriousness. Overall, we have a dedicated team, and I believe they will perform as expected.”

You mentioned using a four-man defense against teams with one forward. Is that the plan for tomorrow?

“If I said that, it might have been misunderstood. We might opt for a three-man defense, which can be more offensive. We also consider playing with two strikers, as Scamacca and Retegui are excellent, with Raspadori capable of playing a support role. Our approach depends on controlling the game. If we manage the game well, we can dictate our style. Otherwise, it will depend on the quality of our play.”

Scamacca seems more confident than a few months ago. Do you share this view?

“Scamacca has grown significantly, and we have praised him. He is a complete player. Sometimes he needs to compare his performance with others. If I cover more ground, I create more opportunities. Attacking the goal more frequently leads to more chances, even if it requires extra effort. These are the standards we expect.”

How is Barella? Is his availability based on his feelings?

“Barella participated fully in yesterday’s session. We’ll monitor him today. His input is valuable, as he’s dealt with similar issues before and performed well. However, the medical team’s opinion is crucial since players always want to play. As of last night, it looks like he will be available.”


Serie A obsessive.