Italy striker Antonio Di Natale said his goal against Spain in Sunday’s Euro 2012 opener was his best at international level.
The Udinese man came off the bench to fire Italy in front after 60 minutes, but a Cesc Fabregas equaliser four minutes later ensured the game finished 1-1.
Di Natale is pleased that he managed to score against the competition’s defending champions.
“I am very happy I scored immediately, on the first ball I had,” Di Natale told Rai Sport.
“Great assist from Pirlo, I think this is my best goal for the Azzurri.”
Di Natale missed a horrific spot-kick in the Euro 2008 quarter-final against Spain, so the Italian is glad he managed to restore the balance.
“I remember the penalty I missed four years ago against Spain.” Di Natale said.
“It’s nice to score against them.”
Meanwhile, Daniele De Rossi was delighted to take a point.
De Rossi, a midfielder by trade, started the match as part of a three-man defence for Italy and received glowing reviews for his performance.
“The draw against Spain gives us great confidence, because it was the hardest game in our group. Being in front of such an opponent was amazing,” he said.
“There’s been some noise around us that did not help us and after the defeat against Russia, it was normal to think of a catastrophe but it was not so, we ended up having a good game.
“I was hoping to make the step up at this level and I must thank my fellow defenders, they were great.”
De Rossi then had his say on the performances of controversial striker Mario Balotelli and surprise starter at left wing-back Emanuele Giaccherini and also Spain’s decision to use a ‘false nine’ in attack.
“He was very good at recovering the ball, then maybe he thought that the defender was not behind him, he was a little sleepy, but maybe he was tired, he ran a lot.”
“Apart from his talent and his dedication, (Giaccherini’s) approach was impressive, as it was not easy to debut for Italy in such a game.
“The absence of Torres? We knew that they could play like that, without a pure striker, as they do so often in Barcelona.”
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