Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva has attributed Italy’s positive start to Euro 2016 to the “winning habit” the contingent of Juventus players in Antonio Conte’s squad.
The Azzurri began their campaign in France with a 2-0 win over Belgium, with Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon keeping a clean sheet while playing behind club-mates Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Candreva, who made 16 appearances for the Turin giants during his spell on loan from Udinese in 2010, praised the influence of players from Massimiliano Allegri’s Scudetto-winning side on the Italy team.
“The ‘Juventini’ bring experience and a winning habit,” he said. “They’re examples to follow because we want to win.
“My experience at Juventus was positive. I was very young and I learned a lot there.”
Candreva insisted, however, that club allegiances had been put to one side, adding: “With Italy, you don’t think of your club.
“We live differently, completely dedicated to the national side.
“Everyone knows that we have four world titles. There are expectations and that presents a big responsibility.”
Conte selected Candreva on the right side of a packed midfield against Belgium, and the versatile midfielder said there is nowhere else he would rather play.
“I’m very happy playing as a winger,” he said. “It’s the ideal place for me even if I started out somewhere else.”