Monday September 9 2019
Nicolato warns Kean and Zaniolo

Italy begin their U21 Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Coach Paolo Nicolato urged Moise Kean and Nicolò Zaniolo to “learn from their mistakes.”

The Azzurrini play tomorrow, in a group with Sweden, Armenia, Iceland and the Republic of Ireland.

“It’s not a particularly easy group, as there are sides like Iceland and Ireland who are improving, while Sweden are at a good level, but we want to give our best and improve,” Nicolato told Radio Rai.

“European qualification is not to be taken for granted and it’s not as simple as 20 or 30 years ago, as everyone knows football with greater depth now.

“What we need to do is share our ideas and use them in the match situation with a positive and attacking mentality. We also need a strong mentality within the group dynamic, with men ready to do the work.”

With that in mind, the senior Italy squad dropped Kean and Zaniolo as punishment after their tardiness during the European Under-21 Championship this summer.

“These are talented players with great quality, but they too much respect the rules and reflect on their errors,” continued Nicolato.

“They need to go through the process, understand the profession must be approached in a certain way. Everyone makes mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them.

“Being a professional football player isn’t just about talent, but working with the group and respecting the many rules within it.”

Zaniolo has been moved around in various midfield and attacking roles for both Roma and Italy, so where does Nicolato see the 20-year-old?

“He can work in any position, in any area of the field. He has such qualities that he could be used more or less anywhere.”

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