Giorgio Chiellini, defender and captain of the Italian team, acknowledged this Thursday, on the eve of his team's debut in the Eurocup against Turkey, that the “azzurro” group managed to convert the disgust experienced in 2017, when they did not qualify for the World Cup. Russia 2018, in "enthusiasm" and in a push that allows it to face this tournament with maximum ambitions.
"We really want to be protagonists, the defeat of Milan (in the World Cup play-off against Sweden) we can never forget, but in these years we managed to turn that disgust into enthusiasm," said Chiellini at the press conference prior to Turkey-Italy that the Eurocup opens this Friday.
“It's a feeling that we all have, not just the players, but all the fans. We are excited to jump onto the pitch ”, added the Italian defender.
Italy returns to a great international showcase after five years of waiting, as they did not participate in the World Cup in Russia when they fell to Sweden in the playoffs. It was November 2017 and, since then, the “azzurro” group got up thanks to the work of the coach Roberto Mancini.
“We are ready, we prepare in the best way. We arrived in the best way, with enthusiasm, but we know that we are going to have difficulties. There will be balance ”, Chiellini considered.
The Italian also thought that the duel against Turkey has added difficulties, as it is the opening match of the Eurocup.
“This time it is the first absolute match. Usually the tournament opens with a match and you start afterwards. This time it is more unpredictable, but it is the same for Turkey. We will dwell it with carefree, with responsibility and a bit of madness that in these tournaments is essential to do something great, "he said.
Italy is in group A together with Turkey, Switzerland and Wales and will play its three games at the Roman Olympic stadium in front of 16.000 spectators.