Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini knows the whole country is ‘eager to experience a major tournament again’ in Euro 2020 after missing out on the 2018 World Cup.
The Azzurri begin their competition against Turkey tomorrow at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
“I think we are ready and have prepared in the best possible way. Of course, we can only test that tomorrow on the pitch, but we come into this tournament with enthusiasm and confidence in ourselves,” said the captain in his press conference.
“It’s going to be a very balanced Euros, as the teams more or less know each other, but we are ready to get going.”
Chiellini came into the Italy squad just after the 2006 World Cup, so he came close reaching Finals both for the Azzurri and Juventus in the Champions League, without European victories. Is this the time he makes it all the way?
“If we reach the Final Four at Wembley, then we can talk! We are really eager to experience a major tournament again, as the pain of the play-off defeat to Sweden will never be cancelled out, but we turned that into positive energy going forward to rebuild.
“You have no idea how many friends have been galvanised over the last week with the mood growing of a major competition that Italy haven’t experienced for five years.
“Not only do we have the first game, it’s also the inauguration ceremony, so it’ll feel a bit odd. I expect Turkey feel the same way, we are first up and can set the tone for the tournament.”