Italy forward Fabio Borini revealed that, although his team's exit from the UEFA European Under-19 Championship was difficult to take, he still has high hopes on the international stage.
Despite collecting just one point from their opening Group B games with Portugal and Croatia, the Azzurrini's chance of reaching the semi-finals remained intact prior to Saturday's encounter with Spain at the Stade du Hazé in Flers. Following two defensive lapses in the space of six first-half minutes, however, Massimo Piscedda's side were 2-0 down, Rúben Rochina and Daniel Pacheco taking full advantage of their opponents' slips. "We came up against a fantastic team in Spain and we just have to take our hats off to them; they played really well," Borini told UEFA.com. "We have to say that at the moment they are too good for us."
An Ezequiel Calvente penalty in the second half compounded the 2003 winner's misery but it was a tournament the Chelsea FC striker felt never got going for Italy. "We're really disappointed with the result and of course for not achieving qualification for the [FIFA U-20] World Cup," Borini said. "In our first [defeat] to Portugal we lost our composure a bit; we really felt we dropped three points there. In the draw against Croatia we did our best to play our game but it's not easy trying with ten players for half an hour.
"I did my job as I always do as a professional player," added the Italy captain, who scored twice in three qualifying appearances but failed to find the net in the finals. "I tried to push the team to the maximum level but it's a difficult time for us as it's just the beginning of the season. We're not as fit as we would be in the middle of the season."
Borini – who began his career with Italian side Bologna FC – made his Premier League and UEFA Champions League debuts for Chelsea last season and the 19-year-old is now planning to focus on winning a regular place in Carlo Ancelotti's side. "I'm hoping for the best with Chelsea, where I want to win a spot in the first team and of course to score goals. I would also love to be involved in the World Cup with Italy in four years, which would be something incredible. I want to achieve everything I can and to win trophies."
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