Antonio Conte confesses “I’m not happy that Andrea Pirlo isn’t here” in his Italy squad for Euro 2016 as he seeks “offensive and attractive” football in France.
Pirlo was left out of Conte’s squad for the European Championship, effectively signalling the end of the midfielder’s international career, but the Coach insists he made the decision with a heavy heart, while explaining the importance of identity, good football and hard work.
“Andrea Pirlo is a great player. I had him for three years in Juventus and we won a lot with him. I’m very affectionate to him,“ he told BBC World Service.
“But I know that in this moment, I have to find the right choice for Italy and not for my heart.
“I’m not happy that Andrea isn’t here, but this is life and we must continue.
“It’s very important to have an identity and when the other countries see our team, I want them to recognise our identity.
“I like to play offensive football and attractive football with great intensity. I like the players to transfer great emotion to our fans.
“I always think of the verb, win. Most people use this verb in a very simple way, but to win is very, very difficult. It’s not for all.
“It’s a tough road and along this road there are sacrifices and hard work.
“I'm a perfectionist in training, and in life, and I want the best for me and for the people who work with me.”