Italy to take the game to Spain, says coach Spalletti

Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

GELSENKRICHEN, Germany: Luciano Spalletti said on Wednesday his Italy team will try to take the game to Spain as the two teams prepare for the biggest match so far of Euro 2024.

The Azzurri have played Spain at each of the last four Euros and will face a serious test of their credentials as reigning champions on Thursday in Gelsenkirchen. Spain hammered Croatia 3-0 in their opening Group B match and alongside hosts Germany looked the most accomplished team in the opening round of fixtures.

And Spalletti is keen to see how Italy measure up against a newly direct La Roja after coming into the tournament as a team in transition. “We want to see how good we are against one of the best teams in the world,” Spalletti told reporters.

“We want to play with a positive attitude, possession football and try to dictate the rhythm of the match.” Spalletti took the Italy job after Roberto Mancini jumped ship to Saudi Arabia last summer, only a few months after guiding Napoli to their first Serie A title since 1990.

That historic triumph was the crowning glory of the 65-year-old´s long and eventual coaching career but he admitted the match is “one of the most important matches of my career”. “The players will understand when they get to my age that they´ll want to have stories to tell,” added Spalletti.