After a perfect first round, the Italian national team earned praise from the local and foreign observers alike.
Roberto Mancini’s men shrugged aside both Turkey and Switzerland in 3-0 results, before rounding up the group stage with a 1-0 victory over Wales despite heavy rotation.
Former Azzurri star Antonio Cassano is happy with the performance of the national team, and was particularly impressed with one Juventus player.
Federico Chiesa only appeared as a substitute in the first two matches of the tournament – with Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Berardi being favored – but he started the match against Wales, putting on a good display, and was chosen as the man of the match.
“Italy’s 12th on the pitch is devastating (talking about Chiesa). He impressed me, he was so inspired. The others had a good match. , but nothing special,” said the former Roma, Inter, Milan and Real Madrid striker in an interview with Bobo TV via ilBianconero.
The retired striker also spoke about Mancini’s wise approach, and how he makes all 26 players at his disposal feel important.
“Brining in Salvatore Sirigu (in the final minutes against Wales) was very important. The 26 players would go to war with Mancini. Roberto is a football man, he knows that the European Championship starts now (in the knockout stages).
“Anything can happen now but Roberto’s project must be protected. If something unexpected happens, we shouldn’t say it’s a failure. Let’s keep it going.”
Italy will play Austria at Wembley stadium in the round of 16, and even though Chiesa is expected to be benched once again, he can still make the difference as a second half super-sub.