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Euro 2016: The Azzurri soundly beaten by Spain in final 4 years ago

Reporter: Mike Fox 丨 CCTV.com

06-01-2016 16:10 BJT

We continue our build up to Euro 2016 now with a look at the 2012 runners up. Italy is a country that boasts a proud footballing history which includes 4 world cups and a European title in 1968. However, a disappointed time in Brazil 2 years ago saw them on an early flight home and now Alberto Conte wants to have the perfect send off with his team before he takes the reigns at Chelsea.

"While you are singing the national anthem, you are feeling like dynamite. You are full of excitement because you are representing Italy's national team. You will have feel hugely proud which is emotional," said Graziano Pelle Italy forward.

Italy is a country proud of football but that pride has been hurt in recent years at major tournaments. Antonio Conte replaced Cesare Prandelli and it's been so far so good for the future Chelsea boss.

"I have said many times that being a coach is like being a good tailor. The quality of the product depends on the material you can use. You should make all the materials together and decorate to make beautiful clothes. You should always think of different ways to bring in different players and characters into play," said Antonio Conte Italy coach.

For the head coach Conte, the preliminary matches for Euro 2016 was mainly about testing new squad members to help find a new system which suited his way of playing. Simone Zaza , Robert Soriano and Eder Citadin Martins all joined the team for the first time in the space of a year with Southampton forward  Pelle not featuring until he had passed his 29th birthday.   

"It was really exciting to be recruited by the national team. I still remember the first match. I was very nervous actually and did not perform well. But as a forward scoring goals changes everything," said Graziano Pelle Italy forward.

"Graziano Pelle was like a symbol of the national team. He was the kind of player I hope to use because he was content to sacrifice and encourage other team-mates and he was proud of wearing the national colours," said Antonio Conte Italy coach.

In the preliminary matches of Euro 2016, Italy kept undefeated and advanced finishing first. Conte has announced that he will resign after the tournament and hopes the final time he will spend with the squad will be celebrating.

"In the past two years,  the team has changed a lot. We think we chose the right coach. He can help us deal with different conditions. If we can  continue with his teachings  and theories and at the same time, be full of passion we will perform well at the Euros," said Gianluigi Buffon Italy goalkeeper.

Italy will take on Belgium in Lyon in their first group match on June 13th before taking on Sweden and Ireland in the other 2 group games. One thing we can always expect from the Azzurri is a passion to deliver for the fans but given the past 2 major tournaments, it will take a lot more than passion to bring home the trophy.

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