Gianluigi Donnarumma feels Italy needed their Nations League success ‘to bring back a bit of enthusiasm, but nothing can heal the open wound that is missing the World Cup.’
The Azzurri needed a victory in Budapest to leapfrog Hungary, win the group and qualify for the Nations League Final Four.
“We needed this to bring back a bit of enthusiasm, even if nothing can heal the open wound that is missing the World Cup,” Donnarumma told RAI Sport.
“It was important to reboot, for all of Italy and for those who believed in us. We started the group well with two victories, now reach the Final Four and will try to win the whole thing.”
The Paris Saint-Germain man has been criticised for his footwork, but there are few better shot-stoppers in the world when he’s on form.
“I think it’s more Mother Nature than anything else, although I do work in training too. It takes a bit of everything. I have to continue like this.”
A performance of this calibre ought to boost his confidence, something that has occasionally been lacking both for Italy and PSG.
“My method doesn’t change. Sometimes it can be very difficult for us goalkeepers to recover from mistakes, but we must remain concentrated, work hard and understand what went wrong, trying not to do it again.
“When there’s so much at stake, I try to relax in the locker room and joke around, to take the pressure off. Then when I step onto the pitch, my mind is totally on the game.
“Unfortunately, mistakes can still happen, I worked on it and I know that I still need to work on things like when to play the ball and when to clear it.”