Sunday October 13 2019
Verratti: 'Italy hit rock bottom, then...'

Marco Verratti celebrated Euro 2020 qualification by noting Italy “had hit rock bottom, but we’re a different team now and believe we can go all the way.”

The Azzurri maintained their 100 per cent record with a seventh win out of seven, beating Greece 2-0 with Jorginho’s penalty and a deflected Federico Bernardeschi strike.

It allowed them to qualify for Euro 2020 with three games to spare, a far cry from the side that failed to reach the 2018 World Cup.

“We had hit rock bottom, because nobody expected Italy to miss out on the World Cup,” Verratti told Tuttomercatoweb.

“It was a real hammer blow and we are now happy to be back on track, celebrating something important, because you can take nothing for granted in sport.

“I’m sure everyone can see we’re a different team now, thanks largely to Roberto Mancini, who has been able to give us back our self-belief in a short space of time.

“I think we’ve got in our minds the belief we can go all the way at Euro 2020. There are teams that right now are at a more advanced stage in the process and have more experience, but we are Italy and we cannot settle for anything less. We want to have our say and can’t wait for the time to come.”

Verratti has become a key figure in Mancini’s Nazionale, but against Greece was reunited with his old Pescara teammates Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.

“It is a bit odd being with them again, as we were in Serie B together. We’ve come so far and I am happy to share this joy with my good friends.

“I don’t think I have anything to prove to anybody. Some games are better than others, it’s not for me to judge.”

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