While you could not escape the sense that Italy's players were on a huge high in the aftermath of their 1-0 triumph over England, two of their key performers in the opening success were preaching that the team's level-headed attitude must continue ahead of Saturday's game against Israel.
Italy's next opponents drew 2-2 with Norway on the first day of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, and although that result has put the Azzurrini in pole position in Group A, Devis Mangia's team are not getting carried away just yet. Alessandro Florenzi, who put in an intelligent 90-minute shift against England, said: "We are first in the group, but this means nothing at the moment. We had to start well and we did just that. We stood up to a great team like England."
It was in the small details that Italy earned the three points, the AS Roma midfielder added. "We knew that these kinds of games can be decided by one or two things and this time it went in our favour." Florenzi is already looking forward to the next task, and is expecting no easier an outing. "We will now begin to study Israel, because we saw them put a lot of pressure on Norway, a team which beat France in the play-offs, so they will certainly give us a hard time."
Another standout display in the Azzurrini ranks at Bloomfield came from defender Matteo Bianchetti, who showed great precision and concentration in marshalling the back line. "It was a great success and is a very good start for us," said the 20-year-old. "The match was hard and intense, but we got three crucial points. It's an important result because if we win the next game we could already get through to the semi-finals.
"Now we are ready to look at the hosts of the tournament, Israel, and learn more about their quality, their weaknesses and their strengths." While Bianchetti said Italy would be, first and foremost, keeping their emotions in check, he is confident in the ability of the squad and their goal of winning this title for a record sixth time. "It's hard to say how likely it is that Italy will qualify and go on from there, but we believe in ourselves and we'll see how far we can go."
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