Riccardo Montolivo described his first Italy goal and a new position as the Azzurri beat Spain.
“Mimmo Criscito did the through ball after Gerard Pique was dragged forward by their move, so I attacked the space. Iker Casillas was so close to me the only way to score was to chip it,” he explained after the 2-1 victory.
“We did well and held out in midfield, where Spain tend to dominate sides, and the fans really helped push us along tonight. The crowd was fantastic.
“The first half was especially strong and we moved around well. Considering the moment I'm going through at club level, the Italy jersey gives me greater calm,” said the Fiorentina outcast.
Montolivo started the match in the trequartista position behind the strikers, then moved to a deeper role.
“The trequartista isn't really my role, as I don't tend to play with my back to goal, but I can do it for the Nazionale when we have a lot of possession and rotate our positions fairly frequently.
“We'll never be Barcelona, but we can bring quality and also counter-attacks. Aside from the opponent, it's important to make steps forward.
“It is a friendly, but it's never really a friendly against a side like Spain, as everyone goes out there wanting the victory with a lot of motivation.”
Antonio Cassano was given the captain's armband at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari.
“It was a nice gesture and Antonio appreciated it, doing very well in front of his home crowd.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.