Eric Garcia Wary of “Star-Less” Italy: “Their Group Is the Biggest Threat”

Spain defender Eric Garcia talked to ahead of the clash with Italy: “Their group is the biggest threat. They are playing very proactive football, like ours. They have very interesting players in the midfield, but really in every role. We know that their fullbacks are pretty offensive-minded too.”

“We will have to be careful because, even though they have no stars, they are all very good, which makes them dangerous. Italy are pretty experienced and have already faced this kind of moment on few occasions in the past. They have quality on both ends of the pitch.”

Garcia praised the Azzurri’s defensive pair: “It will be special to play against two legends like Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. They have proved their worth over the years, and they keep performing at a high level despite their age. They show day after day that they are the best in their role.”

Garcia lauded the work of Luis Enrique: “I am very grateful because he trusted me right away. Everybody wants to play, but my situation was clear, and logging these many minutes goes beyond my expectations. I try to re-pay his faith every time I get on the pitch. He is pretty similar to Pep Guardiola; they have the same philosophy. We start the action from the back and press a lot. Their message to the team is clear.”

Lionel Messi has not put pen-to-paper on the extension with Barcelona yet: “I hope it will happen. I do not need to comment on how good he is. He is the best player in the history of the sport. I hope to share the locker with him next season.”