Mancini: “Belgium Are the Best in the World But Italy Will Try to Win”

Italy coach Roberto Mancini held the usual presser ahead of the Belgium game earlier today, as transcribed by Tuttomercatoweb. “I do not have many doubts concerning the lineup. We have to make some choices, but we have pretty clear ideas. We will wait until tomorrow to verify everybody’s conditions.”

On Belgium possibly pulling a fast one by hiding the true conditions Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard: “It is fine, they are preparing an important match like we are. These contests are beautiful because they feature great players. They have been atop the international ranking for three years. Italy play well as well. It would be great for the spectators if the squads were at full force; that is the best thing about football.”

Italy had troubles against Austria: “We knew and studied them; they create issues because of their mentality and strength. Moreover, it was the first knockout game, therefore the hardest one. Every challenge makes you stronger if you are able to maintain the improvements you gained. We did struggle, but we also took 26 shots. There have been some difficult moments, but we won deservedly. There are no easy fixtures at this stage. This is the lesson from the Euro, it also happened to other top national teams, and some of them have been eliminated.”

On the opponents: “We will face the best squad in Europe alongside France, but Italy try to win. We respect Belgium greatly, but we must play our game and see what happens. I met Roberto Martinez many times. They are maybe the best team in the world; they have extraordinary players.”