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Slovenia showed 'big heart' against Italy

Slovenia coach Andrej Dobovičnik and scorers Igor Osredkar and Kristjan Čujec put their surprise 3-2 defeat of Italy down to their spirit, as the Azzurri vowed to improve.

Slovenia showed 'big heart' against Italy
Slovenia showed 'big heart' against Italy ©UEFA.com

Andrej Dobovičnik, Slovenia coach
This is the first time Slovenia has ever won in a final tournament. We were aware from previous matches that it would be very difficult to beat Italy, but it happened at the right time and the players showed their strength on the field.

Both teams prepared well for the match, there were no big surprises. The thing which put Slovenia in a better position was our fighting spirit on the pitch.

We expected that they would do everything possible to beat us. You could see that the players on the pitch were a little bit tired. That is the reason we are even more happy we didn't concede an equaliser.

Of course, we are very happy for our win. This is the first generation that has won and got a point in the European Championship. That was the reason for our celebrations on the bench as well.

Igor Osredkar, Slovenia defender
It was a very tough game, but we have big hearts and this is what we showed on the pitch. We have a high-quality team and now on Friday we will go for a win against Azerbaijan, which will be enough to get to the quarter-finals. But now we must relax and go for the win on Friday.

We have a young team but a lot of experience. We have a great team and great players, and in our last friendly matches we played very well. Today was the same. We have a big heart, the entire Slovenian team, and today we showed that.

I thank the fans that came to Belgium to support our team. It is a great feeling to play in this big hall with a lot of people behind us – I congratulate them all.

Kristjan Čujec, Slovenia forward
It was a really hard game, we knew Italy were a great team. We were highly motivated and we left our hearts on the court. In the end we are really happy about this outcome.

I can't describe the feeling of [Osredkar making it 3-1 near the end from inside his own half]. It was the first time I had seen something like that, I was just really happy we had beaten a big team.

We had our expectations about the game. We wanted to force them to play with a flying goalkeeper and that is what happened. We prepared well, we had watched some DVDs, and that's how we did it.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach
Congratulations to Slovenia, first of all. We did not play well in the first half, but we improved in the second, when we also scored the equaliser. Than we conceded the second after losing possession in a dangerous part of the pitch and coming again from behind was difficult. We were playing well with the flying goalkeeper [Gabriel Lima], but Slovenia scored the third.

We were facing a team in great form, as I was always repeating to journalists and players ahead of the game. Some thought I was talking nonsense, but I was right. Today in futsal you have to play at your best against any team otherwise you will have problems. We did not play well, but also because our opponents did not allow us to do so. Slovenia can compete with all the big teams in Europe.

Now we can just focus on preparing well for our next game. We made mistakes, but we had prepared for the game well and our approach was correct. We were very focused and ready, but mistakes can happen. Even the best players make mistakes sometimes. I expect another tough game against Azerbaijan. It will be very balanced, impossible to predict.

Marco Ercolessi, Italy defender
Slovenia played their own game and tried to use their strengths in the best possible way. We did not manage to play like the real Italy – we gave them the chance to punish us and they did. The real Italy were not on the pitch tonight, but now it's over and we have to focus on showing the real Italy in the next game.

Azerbaijan are a good team, but now we don't have to worry about who our opponents are – we have to fight against ourselves and be ready to show who we really are. We have to win and make amends for this bad performance.

Teams are improving, nowadays you cannot worry any more about just three teams. We have never thought about who we were going to face in the next round, because qualifying was the only important thing. Now it's a bit more complicated, but we have to make amends for tonight.