Spalletti wants Azzurri to copy Red Fury after humbling

GELSENKIRCHEN: Luciano Spalletti admitted on Thursday that he wants Italy to play like Spain after his team were given a reality check by La Roja at Euro 2024.

Italy were beaten 1-0 by Spain who are into the last 16 in Germany after a sumptuous display in Gelsenkirchen which highlighted the huge gap in talent between the two teams.

“Everyone would like to copy Spain as they have been playing good football for a long time,” said Italy coach Spalletti.

“I have to make the players understand how to play as equals. Because if you play like that against teams like this then it just gets difficult.”

Spain had more of the ball, created a catalogue of opportunities and only won by a single goal due to an outstanding performance from Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

“It’s a result that shows that they were a team and we weren’t. It’s a result that they deserved regardless of how many goals they scored,” added Spalletti.

“We were never in it and never got into a position to take on a team who plays football at this level.”

Spalletti also spoke of a tired Italy, who could not cope with an energetic Spain side, and need to recover before their next game against Croatia.

“Maybe I needed to give them more rest, I probably need to give them more days off, we gave them a day and a half off in terms of rest and we saw that was the right decision in terms of our data,” Spalletti said.

“But there was too much of a gulf, we were constantly stretched, we probably didn’t recover very well in terms of just how demanding and important the tournament was itself, because there was too much of a gulf in terms of sharpness and freshness. —AFP

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