Ciro Immobile is out to repay the faith showed in him by Italy coach Antonio Conte as the Azzurri take on Belgium in their Euro 2016 opener.
Conte’s decision to include Immobile in his squad ahead of the likes of Serie A’s top scoring Italian Leonardo Pavoletti, and in-form Toronto FC striker Sebastian Giovinco.
Conte is expected to start with Graziano Pelle in attack alongside Stephan El Shaarawy or Lorenzo Insigne, but Immobile, Eder and Simone Zaza are all competing for places with the Southampton forward.
Immobile said: “I was nervous waiting to get the call for the Euros. When it came I really committed myself to the squad.
“The team is ready, we have a very united squad with a role for everyone.
“With Conte, everyone has to earn his starting place. There’s competition in attack but it pushes you to do well.”
Immobile was part of the Italy squad that was dumped out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil at the group stages, and he is keen to make amends for that failure in France this summer.
The 26-year-old recovered from a hamstring injury just in time to be selected, and he expressed his gratitude to the club doctors at Torino for nursing him back to fitness.
“I arrived in Brazil tired, I’m much fresher now. There’s still pressure because we are Italy. I want to prove my worth.
“If I wasn’t here, I’d have no regrets. I did everything to come back from injury. I’d like to thank Torino for their support.”