Verratti: “Italy Must Think Big, I Thank Coach Mancini for Waiting for Me”

Italy midfielder Marco Verratti talked to UEFA about his return from injury: “It was surely thrilling. I am happy to be back doing what I love, playing football. This competition is really important to us. Representing our nation is special, and it was great to play in Rome. The coach always trusted me and told me to work to recover as fast as possible when I got hurt. I am grateful to him for waiting for me.”

“The midfield is a key part of the team, having these many options in an advantage for us, the manager, and my teammates in other roles. We enjoy playing together; we have a nice mix of youngsters and experienced players.”

Verratti praised Jorginho: “He makes everything look easy and is indispensable for this team. He dictates the tempo and makes everybody performs at their peak.” The Pescara trio with Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile was re-formed: “Surely ten years ago we did not think we would be in this position. We are happy to be here at the same time as we do not have many opportunities to spend time together. We are close outside the pitch as well.”

On Austria: “It will be a tough game because the elimination is looming, and there are no easy matches at this stage. We saw what happened to Germany yesterday, they were out with ten minutes to go. This type of squad leaves everything on the pitch. We must be aggressive, eager, and courageous as we always are.” 

Verratti concluded by indicating his goal: “You must set one to reach one. Our immediate objective is to defeat Austria, and the desire to win must always be there as it gives you an extra something. We will see afterward, but we must think big.”