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Bonucci eyeing repeat of Euro 2016 win over Spain

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Oct 2016

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Leonardo Bonucci hopes Italy can use their Euro 2016 win over Spain as motivation for their upcoming World Cup qualifier against the same opponent.

Vicente del Bosque took his European champions to France hoping to claim a third consecutive title, but they were dumped out in the last 16 by Antonio Conte’s Italy.

Both sides have appointed new coaches since then, but Bonucci admits he still gets a thrill from just thinking about their incredible 2-0 victory.

“When I think about Paris, I get excited,” he said at a news conference.

“Those memories really pump me up because we put one of the strongest national teams in the world to the sword, although in that very moment they weren’t at their best physically.

“I really hope to transmit this feeling to the team and that many of my team-mates who were in Paris that afternoon will feel the same.

“If so, it will mean that we will take the pitch with the right awareness, the right humbleness and the right willingness.”

Bonucci did, though, concede that changes at the helm would make this a very different fixture to last time.

“We will face a different Spanish side from the one we faced at the Euros,” he said.

“They will have new motivation because of the new coach and they will also have different mental and physical conditions.

“They will be eager to redeem themselves after losing at the Euros, hence we will need to do something more than what we did in Israel [a 3-1 win] because we play against one of the best national teams in the world.”

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