Italy’s final group stage fixture will be against Wales, and Roberto Mancini’s squad has already punched their ticket into the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
With Italy advancing past the group stage, Mancini could give some guys like Torino FC’s Andrea Belotti a start and give Ciro Immobile a day off to have him rested for the tournament’s second phase.
Ahead of the Azzurri national team taking on Wales, Belotti spoke to the media, where he discussed the relationship he has with Immobile as the two strikers on the squad. Lazio News relayed the comments made by Belotti.
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I’m happy for him when he scores and when he helps the team win. We represent a nation; if he scores, it is for the good of us all. Whoever the coach chooses to play, we are all in a good direction towards a single goal. My relationship with Ciro is excellent; if he scores, everything is better if Italy wins.
The next question that the Torino marksman answered his getting a start in this group stage. Italy has advanced past the group stage; Mancini could give others some playing time against Wales who haven’t seen much time at Euro 2020.
If I feel like a starter? I say yes: the coach has always alternated with us. I repeat: there are 26 of us, Italy wants to get to the final, and everyone’s help is needed. Mancini is prepared and makes the best choices based on the match; it’s up to us to be ready. It is a matter of pride if I should be the starter tomorrow. Every time I wear the Italy shirt, representing my country gratifies me on a personal level.
Finally, Belotti touched on the criticism from the outside regarding Italy not having a number nine, which supporters of the national team have been used to for years. Nonetheless, the Torino striker states that they have the forwards to do something special.
We remain focused on what the coach was asking of us. The center forward has to score, but if the team wins, then the center forward has a good role even if he doesn’t score. It was not a heavy fact that they said ‘9 is missing’: we have the characteristics to do important things, it was only up to us to prove it.