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Medallist Mammarella credits Italy team-mates

Published: Saturday 11 February 2012, 21.16CET
Italy keeper Stefano Mammarella hailed his "exceptional" team-mates after scoring the goal that clinched a 3-1 third-place victory against immensely proud hosts Croatia.
by Francesco Corda & Elvir Islamović
from Arena Zagreb

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Published: Saturday 11 February 2012, 21.16CET

Medallist Mammarella credits Italy team-mates

Italy keeper Stefano Mammarella hailed his "exceptional" team-mates after scoring the goal that clinched a 3-1 third-place victory against immensely proud hosts Croatia.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach
First of all I want to congratulate Croatia, it was a great match they played very well and for us winning this match means a lot due to the strength of our opponents. As for ourselves, I am happy above all for my players who earned this medal and this tournament will always remain in our memories and I want to mention the great crowd tonight. We are very happy about this win.

Me the best goalkeeper in the world? I do not feel it, absolutely
Stefano Mammarella
If this dream story continues we can have Croatia between fifth and eighth in the world. That would be fantastic
Mato Stanković

Of course futsal experts recoginse that [Stefano] Mammarella is one of the best goalkeepers. For me it is difficult to single out players, I like to underline the team performance. The team's successes are obtained collectively, not due to single players, that's how we think, but Mammarella is for sure one of the best in the world.

Stefano Mammarella, Italy goalkeeper
We wanted to win this game and we managed to do it. We gave our all against Spain, but now the best we could do was to gain the bronze medal, we wanted it at any cost. This was a great Italian futsal team, formed by exceptional guys.

I score only on important occasions. I already scored against Benfica in the UEFA Futsal Cup [semi-finals last April], you have to say that I'm lucky in UEFA competitions! Me the best goalkeeper in the world? I do not feel it, absolutely. I try to analyse every game and I always look to the future. That's the way I am.

Sergio Romano, Italy defender
This for us is a starting point and we are happy about this. There are many regrets as we didn't make the final and didn't win our group, but we deserved this achievement. We were under pressure a little when Croatia used a flying goalkeeper, but you can understand that. We had more chances than them, the result is right. I'm happy for Mammarella, he scored a great goal.

To play in such an arena is beautiful, even when the fans are not for you. I saw many people and this means the movement is growing. Now we rest ourselves a little, then we will think of the FIFA [Futsal] World Cup play-off with Norway.

Mato Stanković, Croatia coach
We repeated some mistakes from the semi-final, we conceded an early goal again. We were preparing for this all day, trying to avoid those mistakes, but, unfortunately we conceded in the first minute again. Later we played well and I am glad that we made Italy live in fear for a few minutes. Late in the match we had a few good chances, but we didn't take them.

But I want to congratulate my players, a few years ago we couldn't take hard pressure from those opponents and today we can play equally in some parts of the match. If a team attracts 15,000 people to an arena, then it means something. If this dream story continues we can have Croatia between fifth and eighth in the world. That would be fantastic.

Frane Despotović, Croatia forward
Unfortunately we lost out on a medal, but it isn't a reason to be sad. We achieved a huge success by getting among the four best teams in Europe. In preparation for this match we talked a lot about not conceding a goal at the beginning. But it happened again. We were fighting hard later on and deserved the huge support of our fans. These two weeks were like a dream for us and I hope part of this will continue in our next matches.

Last updated: 29/10/12 14.46CET

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