Wednesday June 18 2014
Motta: 'Costa Rica like a Final'

Thiago Motta appreciates Italy’s new dual playmaker system and is ready to replace Marco Verratti against Costa Rica.

“I have been in the Nazionale for two years and I’m convinced we can do even better. We’ll see from the next game if we can already improve upon the performance against England,” said the PSG man in a Press conference.

“There are 23 of us raring to go, but we are fully aware only 11 can play at a time, so we all patiently await our turn.”

Costa Rica caused a huge upset when beating Uruguay 3-1 in their opening match, so how will Italy approach them on Friday?

“In modern football there’s no such thing as an easily beatable team. Now there are two or three better than the rest, but if they are not playing at 100 per cent then those sides struggle too.

“Costa Rica played very well, ran a great deal and are not a surprise. They have good players, know what they are doing and it’ll be a difficult match for us.

“They have players in attack who can make the difference. Costa Rica are very quick at passing it forward and also accustomed to these temperatures, so we need to be very careful.

“The enthusiasm they’re running on after that win over Uruguay will also help boost their confidence. We must fact this game as if it were a Final.”

Thiago Motta is expected to start in place of Verratti as the other playmaker next to Andrea Pirlo.

“I am ready to play just like the rest. I think Cesare Prandelli wants to help Verratti rest, as he played 90 minutes after suffering from flu last week.

“Clearly I do not have his same characteristics, but I’ll try to give my best for my teammates.”