Spalletti high tension in the press room: “Pact with the players? Whoever talks about internal things does harm to the national team”. Then he apologizes


By John

The magic of football that in an instant can make you go from desperation to pure joy. This is what we saw in the last seconds of Italy’s incredible match at the European Championships in Leipzig, when Mattia Zaccagni managed to equalise Modric’s goal for Croatia. “You believe until the last second, because football is like this now – he shouts Luciano Spalletti at the end of the match, between joy and nervousness at having risked losing, he also manages to get angry on Sky’s microphones talking only about football – there are moments that become highlights of the match, by now they were all behind and it was enough to make an exchange clean to hurt him. We missed two sensational goals for our quality. And in some situations we were timid: but the qualification is deserved, and it was you who said that this was a group of death…”. «You said it was a very difficult group, on the day of the draw, and then on the eve of it you ask me if there is fear of going out – he continued – but what’s the point of putting this tension? What’s the point of asking certain questions? You can lose, but put tension first…I’m not afraid first. Then afterwards he’ll criticize us if you leave, but first…I’m not going to make fun of us because we lost a match.”

Then Spalletti, who together with Buffon and the FIGC president Gravina goes under the blue curve to greet the fans, tries to analyze the match by criticizing his team for wasted opportunities and a match restarted only by the hair: «We still need to review something – he explains the blue coach – because we do non-logical things in our matches. But then we need to put the kids in a position to perform at their best. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy going through to the next round, then we’ll try to improve.” That it was a high-tension evening was also demonstrated by the start of the press conference, when asked whether the change in formation – the 3-5-2 – was the result of a “pact” with the players. “What do you mean by pact? I always talk to the players, someone told him this and those who talk about dressing room matters are bad for Italy. Are you 51 years old? – he then said, turning to the reporter who had asked the question – I’m 65, you still have 14 years of pip… ahead of you. I think it’s logical to talk and listen to the players, but to talk about a “pact”…” At 2 in the morning, when the adrenaline was still flowing but the heat had by now “cooled down”. The national team coach contacted Dario Ricci, the Sole 24 journalist who had reprimanded him in a colorful manner, apologizing.