Mancini: "The result was never in question, I wanted an excellent performance. We’ve got crucial matches coming up in June"An unforgettable evening for Quagliarella, who became the oldest goalscorer in the Azzurri’s history: “I don’t feel my age, I feel good and relaxed”
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
After their victory against Finland in the opening game, the Azzurri were asked to approach this evening’s match against Liechtenstein in the best way possible so as to put clear daylight between themselves and the rest at the start of the European Championship qualifying campaign. The response was excellent, and the 6-0 win in Parma was the very least Italy deserved against an opponent they were clearly superior to. The team were switched on and able to keep up the pressure from kick-off right up to the final whistle. Defensively, the Azzurri were solid, while in attack there were some great pieces of play – something which is becoming second nature for this team. These are the characteristics that make up the identity of a team.
"We approached the match well," said Mancini. "The result was never in question, but our performance could have been. However, we played well and scored a good number of goals.” With the Azzurri now on six points at the top of Group J after two games, the team’s attention will now turn to June, when they will play Bosnia and Greece: “They will probably be the decisive matches on the road to qualification and we need to be ready for them. Tonight, I received the confirmation I was looking for, including from the newcomers (Mancini, Pavoletti and Izzo) who have come into the group in recent months. I hope they’ll remain with us for a long time and display the qualities they possess in the process."
Marco Verratti was one of the key players in the match as he put in an excellent performance and scored a long-awaited goal: "In addition to the result, the performance was there," said the midfielder. "I’m happy about this. After failing to qualify for the World Cup, we wanted to make the group and fans feel enthusiastic again. I’m happy about the goal I scored, but the most important thing was getting the three points with a convincing performance." The PSG player is convinced of the Azzurri’s potential: "We have a lot of talent. France are the team they are now because they were able to go through a period of reconstruction, something that we have been through for several months now."
Finally, it was an unforgettable evening for Quagliarella, who became the oldest goalscorer in the Azzurri’s history at 36 years and 54 days nine years on from his last goal for the National Team: "I’d like to thank my teammates, who have continuously supported me,” said the Sampdoria striker. “The crowd gave me a great reception, it was wonderful.” As regards his age, he didn’t hesitate when saying: “I don’t feel 36, I feel good and very relaxed." Finally, he thanked his teammates who allowed him to take the two penalties: "Our penalty-takers are Jorginho and Bonucci. They let me take them and I’d like to thank them for this gesture."