Luciano Spalletti called on late Italy
great Gianluca Vialli to protect the Azzurri after a "tough"
Euro 2024 draw against Spain, Croatia and Albania on Saturday
"We will have to defend at certain times, but the idea is always to propose offensive football: and may Vialli protect us," he ex Napoli scudetto winning coach said of the former Samp, Juve, Chelsea and Italy legend who was no 2 in the Azzurri set-up under former coach Roberto Mancini, who led Italy to victory over England in the last Euro final at Wembley.
"It could have gone better: it's a tough group, but we have to face this European Championship with the awareness of being Italy. A lot will depend on how we arrive in June, on our mental condition and form, said Spalletti, who took over from Mancini after the former Inter and Man City boss, and Vialli's strike partner at Samp, left for a lucrative Saudi national coaching job in the summer.
Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina tod Rai public broadcaster: "We are relatively satisfied. As in all draws we hoped for some less challenging situations, but we saw that it could have been even worse. We are convinced we can do well, and Spalletti is confident".
He added: "More than worrying about the opponents, I would concentrate on putting together all the energy to prepare us. I would like the possibility of having a Monday and a Tuesday, in January and February (for extra training camps, ed.), to have the boys to start certain talks." Spain are arguably the best technical team in Europe, Croatia play the most attacking football, and Albania were the revelation of the qualifying rounds.
After the opening Euro 2024 match between hosts Germany and Scotland on June 14 in Berlin, the Azzurri take the field for their first match against Albania in Dortmund the following day, June 15.
The other matches are against Spain in Gelsenkirchen, a fond memory form the 2006 World Cup victorious campaign, on JUne 20, and against Croatia in Peipzig on June 24.
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