Rafael Toloi believes Italy are ‘ready’ to make their mark at Euro 2020, while there are similarities between Atalanta and Roberto Mancini’s approaches.
The Brazilian-Italian got his passport earlier this year and was a late addition to the Euro 2020 squad.
“I think we are ready. It was an important test yesterday, because we had a great performance against a quality team,” said Toloi in his press conference, referring to the 4-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic.
“We’ve trained well, there’s not long to go before the Euros, but I do believe we are ready to have a great competition.”
He was brought in largely for his versatility, able to play as a centre-back or a left-back.
“I am ready to help out in either role. I actually see similarities between the way Atalanta and this Italy side play, as when going forward, we move to three at the back anyway.
“Mancini asks us to push forward and that makes it easier to press the opponent. It’s very important to take the initiative like that.
“It also works in defence, because we conceded one goal in the last 12 games. The whole team works together to defend and attack together, that’s the secret.”
Toloi is one of three Italy internationals in the squad for Euro 2020 to have been born in Brazil, along with Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri.
“They are doing so well at Chelsea and had been in the Italy side for a long time. They helped me to settle in and it’s a fantastic group.”
There is also another Atalanta player in there, as Matteo Pessina was promoted after Stefano Sensi pulled out with a thigh injury.
“I am happy for him, he played at a very high level all season and has the potential to continue getting stronger. We know that if we are here, it’s because of the good work we did for Atalanta.”