Italy Stalwart Praises Defensive Partnership with Riccardo Calafiori

Inter center-back Alessandro Bastoni is confident his defensive partnership with Riccardo Calafiori can help Italy go the distance at Euro 2024. Though both players are left-footed, Luciano Spalletti decided to pair them together against Albania as Gli Azzurri fought back from an early deficit to get their title defense off to a winning start.

After conceding only 23 seconds into the game, Italy turned the game on its head by the 16th minute. Inter’s dynamic duo Nicolo Barella and Bastoni were the architects of the reigning Euro holders’ comeback, netting twice in five minutes to hand Spalletti’s side a much-needed 2-1 victory.

Bastoni spoke to the press in the aftermath, insisting there’s nothing wrong with playing with two left-footed center-backs while praising the Bologna defender for his talent.

I never understood this thing about two left-footed center-backs being a problem, you often see two right-footed defenders, and nobody complains,” the Italy hero told Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by TMW. “He is very talented, and I am convinced the alchemy is on the right track.

Injuries to Francesco Acerbi and Giorgio Scalvini in the build-up to Euro 2024 have left Italy strapped for reliable defensive options. Therefore, Spalletti had to make a decision. He opted for Calafiori, who only made his senior debut a fortnight ago. And it was spot on.

Heavily linked with a move to Juventus this summer, the 22-year-old delivered an impressive performance as Italy kicked things off in Group A with precious three points.

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