Cannavaro Backs Italy Improvement: “The Worst Is Behind Us”

Luciano Spalletti led Italy to victory at the second time of asking, as the Azzurri drew upon Davide Frattesi’s impressive brace to beat Ukraine 2-1 at San Siro. 2006 world champion Fabio Cannavaro has backed the national team to keep growing after a period of uncertainty under Roberto Mancini.

Cannavaro spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Tuttomercatoweb) and gave his thoughts on the Italy team, drawing out examples from each position.

“I saw a growing team, in which you start to see Spalletti’s hand. He is one of the best coaches out there, and the best we could hope for the national team. For at least 30 minutes, we saw an aggressive and very dynamic team in midfield with Manuel Locatelli and Davide Frattesi. The latter, in addition to the very important goals, demonstrated great growth. In the middle, with Nicolò Barella and also recovering the best Sandro Tonali, we have well-distributed quality and physicality. And then Giacomo Raspadori, who gave no references up front was tactically fundamental in opening up spaces.”

The Ballon d’Or winner then drew a blueprint for bettering the Azzurri defense.

“We need to do better in attention and movements. I like Giorgio Scalvini and Alessandro Bastoni, but they are both ‘braccetti’ of a three-man defences. They are used to different movements and play wider. Then often Giovanni Di Lorenzo found himself too wide and high and the Ukrainians took advantage of it. Over time, we will improve.”

“Congratulations to Luciano who deserves great satisfaction. And I am convinced that in the end we will qualify for the European Championship. Of course it was not easy to change coach twenty days before the September matches. Now the worst is behind us.”

The win was Spalletti’s first as the Italy coach since taking over Roberto Mancini’s spot in the dugout. He remains unbeaten after two games, having drawn 1-1 vs North Macedonia in his managerial debut.

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