NEWS
Wednesday March 20 2019
Biraghi hails Mancini impact

Cristiano Biraghi has praised Roberto Mancini’s impact as Italy CT. “He’s done well to adapt to all the characteristics of the players and exploit them.”

Biraghi has been one of the biggest benefactors of Mancini’s appointment, starting four of the Azzurri’s last six games, one of which saw the Fiorentina left-back score a last-minute winner against Poland in the Nations League.

“It was important for the team, which is what counts,” the 26-year-old said at a Press conference.

“There’s also personal joy. It was important to win that game, beyond the goal that I scored at the end.

“The victory was the right result. Only after that do we think about ourselves. I don’t score many goals as it is, so scoring one like that was even more exciting.

“Finland? They’re a Scandinavian team, a plucky one who we have struggled against historically.

“We need to grow and we’ll try to get the result because starting on the right footing is crucial.

“The competition? The more competition there is, the better. From that, our individual performances improve.

“We all represent a nation and we’re all working towards an objective. More than competition, it’s a way for us to play better.

“The CT? I think he’s done well to adapt to all the characteristics of the players and exploit them, pushing the left-back forward for example.

“For me, it’s fine like this. My characteristics are able to come out, but I think it suits the whole team too.

“We’ve had some big wins and performances. We put under Portugal the cosh in Milan. Our style of play mirrors how the team is able to build up play and defend because going forward is a crucial point of our game.

“Defensively I have to improve and grow, and I want to do that. Now that I’m in the national team I’m only thinking about what’s going on here, just as I only think about the Viola when I’m in Florence.”

Biraghi was then asked about Fiorentina teammate Federico Chiesa after his thigh scare.

“He isn’t going through a tough time,” he added.

“He’s been playing and had some problems in his hip against Lazio. He’s living with pain like all players do.

“I think it’s normal for footballers. The transfer market? We don’t talk about it.”