Arsenal midfielder Jorginho opened up about his return to the Italy national team, the crucial Euro 2024 qualifiers and a possible return to Serie A one day.

The 31-year-old Italian-Brazilian midfielder has not appeared for the Azzurri since June, when he played 61 minutes in the Nations League semi-final loss to Spain. He was not called up by Luciano Spalletti for the last two international breaks, but was given the nod for the coming two games.

A member of Italy’s Euro 2020 winning squad, Jorginho fell out of favour with Azzurri fans after missing two key penalties in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. As a result of his misses, the national team were forced to go through the play-offs, where they lost to North Macedonia.

Speaking in a press conference in Coverciano via TMW, Jorginho first discussed how Spalletti welcomed him back to the Italy squad.

“He welcomed me well, I was pleased he called me back. We are very motivated for these matches, to go where we want to go.

“He only asked me about things on the pitch, what he expects from me and what I have to do for the good of the team, that is, control it, give directions and play the proactive game we want to play.”

He was asked if England were the favourites for Euro 2024 and if the Premier League was the best league in the world.

“They are always the favourites, I always feel that they are the favourites. They have a great team with great talent, but to win you need more than talent.

“We must always respect a great team. Then it is true that the Premier League is great, but also the Serie A is and anything can happen during matches, especially in the most heartfelt matches.”

He spoke about if he considered leaving the national team after the Nations League semi-final loss in June.

“No, honestly not. I feel that I still have a lot to do in the national team, I will always try to do everything to help the national team and the coach.

“I want to feel what I felt during the European Championship, for me it is important to give joy to the people.”

The midfielder discussed the differences between football in Italy and England.

“I think there is a higher intensity in England. But I think it’s a matter of culture, the game in Italy is more of a chess game. More thought out.

“While in England the game is more instinctive, they always throw themselves all the way and maybe sometimes without thinking much about it. That’s kind of the difference.”

Jorginho was asked if he’d return to Serie A one day.

“I’m very much in doubt, I would like to return but I don’t know what the right time would be. I want to return yes, but I don’t know when, I feel I still have things to do at Arsenal.

“For me it’s always nice to play at the Stadio Olimpico, let’s hope it will be full and I can’t wait, I have no blocks, none.”

The 31-year-old confirmed he’d be willing to take a penalty again and touched on any possible heirs to his role.

“On the penalty, if it happens and it’s up to me, I absolutely wouldn’t hold back, I’d be ready to help. It’s not up to me to decide, but if it’s up to me absolutely yes, without a problem.

“As for my heir, that’s not up to me either… I honestly don’t know. There are many young players who are emerging and surely someone will emerge. For now, you will have to be satisfied with me…”

He gave his expectations of North Macedonia.

“A closed, compact North Macedonia. But without conceding. I think it’s an important factor to be focused and not give anything away. With two shots in two games, we conceded two goals. We must not concede.”

The Arsenal midfielder commented on some of the leaders in the Azzurri squad.

“Yes, I really think so. Every time there is a change, when other new players arrive, they have to grow.

“There are players with great personalities who can leave their mark on the national team by doing many good things. Di Lorenzo, Cristante, Locatelli, they are players who are emerging with great personality.”

The 31-year-old was asked to compare Spalletti and Roberto Mancini.

“I don’t really like making comparisons, but they are certainly two coaches with great experience. They are both very sincere, say the things that need to be said.

“They have always been very frank with me, I think that is an important point of view. Personally, they ask about what they see in my characteristics and what I can give to the team.”

He spoke about his growth over the last two years.

“I have grown a lot on the pitch, in experience. I changed teams, coaches, therefore more information. I understood the game even more and how to compete.

“Competing does not just mean playing well, but also comes from experience. And this I try to pass this experience on to my teammates too.”

Jorginho discussed the goals he’s set himself with the national team and the differences in style with the coaching changes.

“I don’t think it’s that different, both coaches wanted to propose good football, ball possession and good plays with a top team. They are very similar.

“On goals, I say that if you don’t have any you have to stop… I have goals and they are the ones that move me every day. But I won’t tell you…”

He reflected on his time with Arsenal.

“It always takes time when you change teams, but the first six months at Arsenal were not negative, on the contrary.

“Obviously, it takes time to understand the mechanisms better, Arteta gives you a billion pieces of information but I’m very happy there.”

Finally, Jorginho discussed a captain’s role on the pitch.

“He is a figure on whom the team must rely. How he behaves, how he gives support to the team. He uses the right words. I believe that those are the right behaviours needed for a captain who has the respect of his teammates.”

2 thought on “Jorginho: ‘I’ll do everything I can to help Italy’”
  1. I would not put him in the position to take another spot kick… no way. Unfair to him and it Italy fans..

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