“Xavi gave us the best compliment, as he said Italy remind him of a mix between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. It proves those who play football understand.”
Now Italy go forward to play Germany in the quarter-finals, but Thiago Motta is suspended.
“It’s a shame about Thiago Motta, as he’s our 12th man out there. We have to prepare, it’ll be tough, maybe even tougher than it was today.”
Giorgio Chiellini assures “the good stuff starts now” after Italy beat Spain 2-0 to set up a Euro 2016 quarter-final with Germany.
Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini (C) celebrates a goal with Italy's forward Citadin Martins Eder (R) and Italy's midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini during Euro 2016 round of 16 football match between Italy and Spain at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-
Image credit: AFP
“We had a few things to prove and take revenge for. We deserved it and frankly made it too anxious in the final 15 minutes, as we should’ve finished it off a lot earlier. We wanted it more,” the defender told Rai Sport.
He found the net in the first half, then Graziano Pellè sealed the scoreline in stoppages.
“I think we did expect it, because in March the friendly was more or less like this. We felt good and wanted to take ‘revenge’ after many years when Spain had dominated.
“This is the beginning. We’ll enjoy it for the next few hours, but we’ll take it one game at a time. The good stuff starts now.”
That ‘good stuff’ is a quarter-final against World Cup winners Germany, who beat Italy 4-1 in a friendly a few months ago.
“We are both great teams. Naturally Germany start as favourites, they gave us a right kicking in March, so we need to do something truly extraordinary, even more than today, in Bordeaux.”
Emanuele Giaccherini revealed his pre-match team talk and Antonio Conte’s preparation.
Emanuele Giaccherini - Italy v Spain - Euro 2016
Image credit: AFP
“We prepared for this game in the tiniest details throughout the week and the Coach gave us the right indications to beat what I think is one of the best teams in the world,” Giaccherini told Sky Sport Italia.
“We legitimised the victory with many chances that we wasted, so it should’ve been more than 2-0.
“Today I made the speech to the players before the game, telling them we needed heart, because tactics can only take you so far, and we had heart.
“A different player makes the pre-match speech every time, as we are a group and everyone plays their part.
“We suffered against Spain only towards the end of the second half, as we got too deep and they have exceptional players, but we had so many chances and could certainly have finished it earlier.”
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