Giorgio Chiellini, in a press conference just an hour ago, gives his first impressions of being in Brazil.
“We have been preparing physically and tactically, adapting to the temperature, to attain the maximum of what we can do.
” ‘Resurrection specialists? It is one of our characteristics and we have not yet failed ourselves. I hope it will still be the case. We are certainly better than what we showed in the last two matches.”
“The Ibra curse? There is no ‘curse’ but it is interesting that the injuries have all been traumatic injuries rather than muscular injuries.
Our defence? It is an aspect to improve. We have lost some intensity compared with two years ago.
The code of ethics? I have one hundred caps for Italy with only one red card; the numbers speak for themselves, so I never feared missing the World Cup.”
The 29 year-old had some remarks for his team-mates:
“We have two extraordinary players, Buffon and Pirlo, but an individual cannot win; Messi has not yet won with Argentina, nor Ronaldo with Portugal…
It is no disadvantage to play De Rossi in defence; he has all the characteristics to play well there.”
Barzagli? He would have played against Luxembourg only he had a fever. His tendon seems to be improving. We hope he will be in optimum condition for Saturday.
“Kiev [Euro 2012 vs England] was one of the best matches that we have played. We are now changed, rejuvenated, but the identity stays the same. England have in identity changed more than us and they have a group from Liverpool who has done well.
It will be a difficult match and the atmosphere will be important – everyone has been talking about the atmosphere in Manaus and we are curious to see how it will be to play there.”