Saturday, August 19, 2017

Barzagli ready for Rooney challenge

Italy centre-back Andrea Barzagli has underlined the importance of teamwork and focus as his side aim to neutralise the threat of Wayne Rooney.

The Manchester United striker appeared in his first game of Euro 2012 against Ukraine, and netted the winner as England secured top spot in Group D with a 1-0 victory.

Barzagli praised the qualities of Rooney, but insisted his team will be capable of containing the 26-year-old in Sunday’s quarter-final.

“As a team we can stop him, we are four at the back, so an effort from the entire team is needed,” the Juventus defender told reporters on Saturday.

“We know just how good Rooney is and how England are as a side. We need to be 100 percent focused to counteract this player.

“No side at this tournament has been able to keep a clean sheet. I don’t think we’ve suffered any more than any other side here – we have only conceded twice. There’s a lot of quality attacking here.”

Barzagli also spoke about the atmosphere ahead the quarter-final clash against Roy Hodgson’s England.

“It is the eve of a very important game. You’re a bit tense, focused, but happy to be there,” he said

“There are no games better or worse at these tournaments – you just want to be there.”

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