Italy Under-21s boss Luigi Di Biagio has hailed the ‘incredible’ impact of Pescara boss Zdenek Zeman on the Azzurri’s young players.
Zeman played a key role in the development of several Italy internationals, including Ciro Immobile, Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Insigne, and Di Biagio watched his U21s side lose 2-1 to Pescara on Thursday night.
“It was a friendly that allowed us to get minutes under our belts because many of these lads haven’t played for a while,” he said after the match.
“In terms of performance, we can always improve. We lost a bit of distance after a good first half.
“Zeman? My judgment of him is a bit biased, but I hope things go well for him and his club. His way of doing things and working has always been the same.
“I’m keeping an eye on all his young players and I know that many of them have passed through [the U21s] in recent years.
“He always tries to get his lads playing with smiles on their faces, and this gives them the calmness needed to play incredible football.
“Sweden? It’ll be a difficult tie, but the objective is only to go through.”
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