Giorgio Chiellini has dismissed suggestions that Italy should be worried about what is awaiting them in Gdansk on Sunday.
Italy’s preparations for their Euro 2012 opener have been far from ideal, given Scommessopoli has deprived them of first-choice left-back Domenico Criscito, while injury has ruled defender Andrea Barzagli out of the group stages.
They also go into the tournament on the back of three successive friendly defeats, but Chiellini claims Italy have been lifted by the fantastic support they have received since arriving in Poland, and that the reigning world and European champions Spain do not fear them.
“They should be scared of us,” the versatile Juventus centre-back, who was an injury doubt for the game in Gdansk, told reporters on Wednesday.
“The 10,000 who attended our training session yesterday evening (Tuesday) have given us new enthusiasm after a week that was not easy for us because of the many more or less legitimate attacks that we suffered.
“But we are good at isolating ourselves and thinking only of the pitch. I’m feeling good and have been training with the rest of the group for a few days. There is a great desire to start this adventure.”
Continuing on the topic of the Spaniards, Chiellini then explained how Italy should approach their maiden European voyage of the summer.
“It’s a pity Barzagli misses out but we’ll be ready if required to play a back three – De Rossi has shown he’s capable of doing so,” Chiellini said.
“(Cesare) Prandelli has experience and wants to consider various alternatives.
“This Sunday, we’ll be up against a Spain side which has dominated over the last four years, but we want to face this game with the right motivation.
“There’s no way to stop their individuality, but the important thing is to help each other out in every part of the pitch. We’ll have to limit their quality, acknowledging their strengths but also their weaknesses.
“We’ve all tried out different styles of play with our respective club sides. Now all we need to do is find the right balance and a shared idea of play.”
Chiellini lastly assured fans that he would be fit to feature in coach Cesare Prandelli’s plans after shaking off an injury picked up in Juventus’ final Serie A fixture against Atalanta.
“The injury was less serious than first thought. I have no fears regarding my physical state,” he said.
Italy have been drawn in Group C alongside Spain, Republic of Ireland and Croatia.
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