‘Spain favourites? No problem’

Devis Mangia is happy that Spain are favourites for the UEFA Under-21 Championship, as he reflects on the dream that Italy are living.

The Azzurrini are preparing for tonight’s competition final against favourites Spain having won their group and then defeated the Netherlands in the other semi-final.

“Spain have a great team and I don't mind if they are favourites,” commented Mangia to reporters in his pre-match address.

“However, tomorrow from kick-off we start at 0-0 with 11 players on each side. I don't think Spain will try to control a special player like [Marco] Verratti, as they play more individually and, besides, tomorrow there might be another player who stands out.

“We will play as a united team like we normally do.”

Italy last played Spain at this level in November, with La Rojita running out 3-1 winners.

“Before the Netherlands [semi-final] I said I would forget the friendly match we played against them in August.

“However, it is different with the game we played against Spain in November because I will make use of it and treasure it for the final.

“I looked into the eyes of my players and no-one is satisfied with just reaching the final. The players will all contribute and do their best.

“There is no doubt about this in my mind, you just need to look at us to see the desire. Italy have a chance to win because in the past in different competitions the less favoured team has won.

“Perfection does not exist in football. We have tactical and technical resources.

“From October 16 [after qualifying for the final tournament with a play-off victory against Sweden] I said we can dream.

“I never wanted to talk about numbers, positions or rankings, but now we're going to play the most important game of our lives.

“Reaching the final is just the result of the dream that started on October 16.”

Tags 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Azzurrini Italy La Rojita Mangia Spain Under-21s