Leonardo Bonucci, defender of the Italian national team, praised this Monday the strength of the “azzurro” group and considered that the union of the locker room is as important as having stars such as the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo or the Belgian Romelu Lukaku.
«The star in the Italian team is the group. We don’t have top-level players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lukaku, players who make the difference, but for us the group is the key,” Bonucci assured at a press conference organized at the Coverciano sports center (Florence, center).
“We have to show off our group and win to bring joy back to the Italians after the negative experience of Russia 2018,” he added, referring to Italy’s absence from the last World Cup.
Bonucci, one of the leaders of Roberto Mancini’s team, expressed his optimism ahead of the European Championship, in which Italy will debut this Friday against Turkey in the Roman Olympic stadium.
«A great adventure begins, we have been waiting for a year. We want to get to the end. It is true that we have more experienced teams ahead of us, who are one step above, but we are there to compete, “he said.
“We have to be calm, play without fear. We will have the public by our side in Rome and we are going to give it our all,” he continued.
The “azzurro” team faces the European Championship after a streak of 27 games without defeat and eight games without conceding goals, something that fills Bonucci with pride.
“When you don’t concede goals, the merit doesn’t just go to the defenders, because you can count on great defenders, but if you don’t work as a team, the wall falls. In addition to proposing an offensive game, teammates also sacrifice themselves to defend. We hope to continue in this way, because it would mean going far,” he said.
“Besides, winning 1-0 always gives pleasure,” he acknowledged.
Italy, champion of the European Championship in 1968, is framed in group A along with Turkey, Switzerland and Wales and will play its three games at the Olympic in Rome before 16,000 spectators.
“We have to be humble, praise gives us pleasure, but we must be focused,” he stressed. EFE. (JL).