Italy forward Eder has not received the credit he is due for the winning goal against Sweden because he does not have the profile of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to team-mate Marco Parolo.
The Inter striker struck with two minutes remaining to seal a 1-0 victory in Toulouse on Friday, ensuring Antonio Conte’s men have picked up maximum points from their first two Euro 2016 matches to seal top spot in Group E.
Eder’s goal saw him cut inside in a sprint from the left wing before curling a fine finish into the bottom corner and Lazio’s Parolo feels he deserves more acclaim for the strike.
“If Eder’s goal had been scored by Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, people would have said it was the goal of the competition,” he said.
Parolo, though, is happy that Italy do not have any standout individuals, with their teamwork proving crucial to a start that has seen them keep consecutive clean sheets.
The 31-year-old added: “Everyone has to bring what they have got to the team and that creates a mix of talents.
“It is better for this team to be identified in many players and not just one or two. We have to push forward with pride.
“We want to continue on our current path, in the shadows, taking it one game at a time. Wherever we end up, it will be because we gave everything we had.
“The team spirit here is incredible – we give our heart and soul.”
Many of the major nations are yet to hit top form in France, but Parolo believes that is due to impressive opposition, rather than the traditional heavyweights failing to perform.
“That is not because they are not playing well, but rather the average level of the smaller sides has increased,” he said. “When we study the scout reporting, we see everyone has players in the best clubs.
“Everyone knows how to read and prepare for the game now, so there is a lot more tactics than physicality in these Euros. We are fired up and in a situation where we can do well.”
Italy round off their group-stage campaign against Republic of Ireland in Lille next Wednesday.
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