Italy captain Gigi Buffon feels the Euro 2016 squad “left a treasure that mustn’t be wasted, as people fear and respect us.”
The Azzurri were coming off a disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign and went into this tournament with numerous injury problems, yet went out in the quarter-finals to Germany only after a sudden death penalty shoot-out.
“We reached the Euros looking like a chaotic bunch of minnows, but we return home as a solid side that people fear and respect,” Buffon told Rai Sport this morning.
“What we leave behind is an enormous treasure and it mustn’t be wasted. We’ve proved that with the culture of hard work and sacrifice we can climb mountains – and we did.
“That is an important inheritance for the future.”