Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini is desperate to make up for lost time as the Azzurrini prepare to fly out to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship tomorrow. Pazzini was part of the side that failed to get beyond the group stage in Portugal last year and is determined to make amends as Italy go in search of a record sixth triumph.
"We want to play a great tournament to make up for our disappointment in Portugal last year," the 22-year-old said. "We are all serene, and our aim is to win the European Championship." Italy kick off their campaign against Serbia on Monday and Pazzini is confident of success. "We're an excellent team, very competitive, and I think we have proved that. We have made a lot of sacrifices to get here, and we will face this last challenge doing everything we can to win."
Pazzini, who scored a hat-trick against England at Wembley in March, came up through the prestigious Atalanta BC youth system alongside Riccardo Montolivo. The pair subsequently moved to ACF Fiorentina and both now share the same goal in the Netherlands. "We are determined," Montolivo said. "We're stronger than last year, because this season we've been playing more regularly with our teams." To add to the positive mood in the Italy camp, the squad travel to the Netherlands with no injury problems to concern coach Pierluigi Casiraghi.
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