UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Conte: Club spirit saw Italy through against Spain

Italy's triumphant coach Antonio Conte insisted his team's togetherness and spirit were the key reasons for their brilliant last-16 win against champions Spain.

Conte: Club spirit saw Italy through against Spain
Conte: Club spirit saw Italy through against Spain ©AFP/Getty Images

Antonio Conte, Italy coach
I've always said, right from the start of my work here with the national team, that the only road we can follow if we want a bit of success is to be like a club, to be like a team that play together every week – we cannot allow ourselves to be a selection.

I'm happy above all for the players. It's more than a month that we've been working tactically, technically, mentally and we've been trying to surprise everybody and I think we've succeeded to some extent. Spain are one of the best teams in the world. They have players of an extremely high level, not just on but also off the field.

We now face the best side at the European Championship next Saturday. It's going to be very, very hard in all aspects. We've got to do well to recover and prepare for Germany the best way we can. We are without Thiago Motta and that's a big blow, also because De Rossi took a knock to his hip. But we know that in adversity, we give that little bit more.

Bonucci: We can’t wait to face Germany

Leonardo Bonucci, Italy defender and man of the match
We showed on the field our determination, aggression and willingness to work for one another. We played the way we know how to play and today people enjoyed watching two great nations, with neither holding back.

It was a huge performance against the best team in the world. The coach said we had to be 23 men – and we were. Spain did well in the second half, pressing us higher up the pitch and it was harder for us. We deserved to go through and now we've got to go and give Germany a game.

Del Bosque: ‘We expected to get a bit further’

Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach
We were a bit timid in the first half, there was not enough bravery, but in the second half we took more risks, we tried to get the equaliser but we couldn't.

Italy were the better team and I wish them the best. We tried until the end, we were not tired. We're not a physical team, we are technical. But we came here in good shape. We had played two good games but the last-minute goal against Croatia hurt us.

Italy were clearly much better and [David] de Gea was the best player on the park. We had some chances and could have equalised. To say they battered us would be an overreaction. You cannot doubt our intentions, we had the desire and heart as always. But in sport sometimes your opponent is better.

Chiellini: ‘Destiny’ for me to score

I don't think it's the end of an era. Spanish football has a great structure, we have great players and I don't think it's over. It starts again. We have to play Italy again in the World Cup qualifiers. As for my position as coach, I will speak to the [Royal Spanish Football Federation] president and we will see.

Andrés Iniesta, Spain midfielder
I'm lost for words. They were more effective when it mattered, they were superior. We were waiting too much for what they were going to do. Sometimes these situations can come back to hurt you. During the second half we fought more and the match was different. Of course, you can still end up on the losing side. Hopes were very high, but we have to deal with our disappointment. There's nothing else to it: let's think about the future.