Thursday June 7 2012
Motta demands Italian desire

Thiago Motta insists that tactics alone will not be enough for Italy in their Euro 2012 encounter against Spain.

The Azzurri may shelve their 4-3-1-2 formation in favour of a 3-5-2 shape for Sunday’s Group C clash.

“It doesn’t matter whether you play two, three or four defenders,” he said in Krakow this afternoon. “It is desire which makes the difference. The Coach will pick the team, but what is important are the players.

“If we can find unity then we can beat anyone. We know how Spain play, but stopping them from playing is not the same thing…

“Spain are not a weaker team than in the past. They have won everything over the last four years. They will be without Carles Puyol and David Villa, but they have good enough replacements.

“The fact is that we need to think about ourselves. They’ll attack, press us high and try to keep possession, while we need to go into the game with a greater desire to win.”

Thiago Motta could benefit from the change in shape as midfielder Daniele De Rossi is being tipped to start in defence.

“I’m happy to play in any midfield position,” he added. “It becomes easy to play alongside certain individuals. One role is the same as another for me.

“This shirt means a lot to me,” added the Brazilian-born ace. “I’m here because I feel it, otherwise I would be on holiday with my wife and kids. I’m happy in this squad.”

There are some serious question marks about the strength of the Azzurri as they haven’t won a game since 2011 and were beaten 3-0 by Russia on Friday.

“It is normal to be concerned after three losses, although they were all friendlies. That is not normal for a side like ours. But it is important how we react.

“Catenaccio? The old Italy won a lot and that is what counts. We’ll look to do our best in defence and attack, we want to play well as that is what the Coach asks of us. However, winning is all that matters.”

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who left Inter in January, was also asked for an opinion on former Nerazzurri teammates Mario Balotelli.

“Balotelli still makes us angry,” he smiled. “He’s a good lad, but he has to feel the responsibility of someone who defends his country in an important tournament.

“He has to work hard, to help his teammates on the field of play. Off the pitch, he’s an excellent guy as always.”

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