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Italy unaffected by Juve loss – Marchisio

Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio insists Juventus’ UEFA Champions League loss will have no impact on the national team’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Croatia.

Antonio Conte’s men head to Split – where the game will be played behind closed doors – sitting two points behind the hosts in Group H.

Italy have five Juventus players in their squad, with that quintet entering the clash on Friday less than a week after their loss to Barcelona in the Champions League final.

But Marchisio, who played 90 minutes in Berlin, said the Juve players in Italy’s squad were positive.

“I think we’ll be ready for the match,” he said.

“I’ll repeat something I heard Leonardo [Bonucci] saying yesterday. Ending the season with a defeat is not a nice feeling.

“We want to get to this match in a positive manner, only thinking about the national team.

“Also because we will face a very strong team that scored five goals against Norway and they have the group’s top scorer in [Ivan] Perisic.

“They have great quality and are strong physically, we saw how many problems they caused for us in the first leg.

“So even though the game will be behind closed doors it will be extremely tough, the toughest of the group phase.”

At club level, Marchisio insisted motivation would be no problem for Massimiliano Allegri’s team next season after winning their fourth straight Serie A title.

“Every year we hear the same things about Juventus, how will they start next season? Are they still hungry? Will they be able to win again?” he said.

“But for four years we have been there at the top. People speak about the league being easy, but I can assure you that is absolutely not true. Every year it gets more difficult to repeat ourselves.

“We have grown exponentially recently, not just this year where we went close to winning three trophies, but last year we reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

“This year we improved on that and next year it will be even more difficult to repeat ourselves, not just in Europe but in the league as well.”

Thu 11 Jun, 2015
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