Speaking in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sports Italia (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) earlier today, the 36-year-old Italian midfielder first looked ahead to his future.
I’m waiting to find the right solution for me. I want to play, I want to have fun. When there is still fire inside, the passion, you have to follow it. For the rest there is time.
When I see certain images, I want to be a protagonist even more, to be there. This Italy also transmits this to you. A football lover can’t take energy from it.
He discussed what the Azzurri would need to do to beat Luis Enrique’s Spain tomorrow evening.
I see many similarities of spirit, desire and adrenaline that we had in 2016. The real strength is the unity of purpose. The difference can be made in the second balls, in the desire to arrive first.
That’s what happened against Belgium, Verratti shortening and recovering the ball, Barella winning the fight, Immobile wasting the defender’s time and getting distracted.
There’s that desire not to concede goals, to be the first to get to the loose ball and to give everything. I think this must be the secret.
The 36-year-old Italian touched on the various strengths and weaknesses of the Spanish national team.
Spain has changed a lot, they have lost some top players, but they have others who have won and who are trying to transmit the winning mentality to the youngsters.
It will be a different competition, they want to show they are equal to the past.
We have the adrenaline to show everyone that we are Italian. Many times, we say that the grass is always greener in another neighborhood, but we forget that ours is the one that has been cultivated best.
I’m happy, proud to be Italian when I see this spirit, this squad.
Parolo spoke about Roberto Mancini’s tactics and system with this Italy team.
It’s very nice to see them play. They have taken their cue from the winning national teams, but our DNA is still there. The ability to defend when needed, to be compact, it’s not a national team that only makes dribbling its strength.
We are finding the right mix and we are dangerous. It’s nice to see them playing, it’s nice to see them together. I get carried away by this atmosphere.
The two teams will respect each other from the first to the last minute. When you want to have fun, you transmit that on the pitch. And you get it across.
You have the serenity to maybe make a joke or a glance to take the tension away. It means there is esteem, there is respect for those who are playing, but also for those on the bench.
The Italian midfielder touched on the various strong individuals in the Azzurri squad.
Jorginho is incredible. I don’t like to give out marks, but I can say that when I was at Verona in 2007, he was in the youth academy and used to come and train with us.
Talking to the others I would say ‘this one never loses the ball’. He already had great control of the game, of the position. He has grown a lot, and the experience abroad has completed him.
He is the lighthouse of our midfield in the construction phase but also verbally, you can hear the way he guides his companions. He gives orders, he calls them back.
He and Verratti are really hard to mark. Barella is an inexhaustible engine, he loves to play, to be seen, to have the game in his hands, to call his teammates.
The former Lazio midfielder commented on the strong spirit present within the Italian team.
Bonucci and Chiellini know each other by heart and know how to guide their teammates. They are the foundations of the national team, and when a house has stable foundations, the wind won’t move it.
Their understanding and exultation is huge. The teammates are always looking for them. They’ve won more than anyone else and it’s right that they drag others along. Mancini is the key, he brought ideas and mentality.
They will follow him everywhere like we did with Conte in 2016. He said right from the start that they wanted to get to Wembley, but his conviction has transmitted it to everyone.
Great player. He’s never really exploded after Lazio, but he can do great things. He knows the environment, he knows how to move and what he can give and what is required of a player at Lazio.
He could be the Felipe we admired, a little more mature. Experiences abroad are formative, even if you don’t find a starting place. What’s more, inside you grow the desire to prove yourself even more.
Finally, Parolo spoke about the future that lays ahead of him. The 36-year-old’s contract expired with Lazio last week, after seven years with the club.
I want to work as a coach. I have clear ideas about my future after football, but at the moment I really want to play. I’m starting to watch games less as a fan and more as a technical/tactical coach.
I often make assumptions that come true and say more and more that maybe I’m inclined.
A great player like Klose used to say ‘When a striker has luck three times, he becomes a talent’. If you score three times in an empty goal it’s because you’ve been in the right place at the right time.
My idea is the same, if I get more things right maybe it’s not wrong to think I’m doing it well.