Alessandro Florenzi compared facing Germany at Euro 2016 to climbing Mount Everest, with Italy looking to conquer the world champions and reach the semi-finals in France.
Having knocked out double defending European champions Spain in Paris on Monday, Antonio Conte’s squad now face another daunting task in the last eight of the tournament.
Germany have the added advantage of enjoying an extra day of rest ahead of the game, having recorded a 3-0 triumph over Slovakia on Sunday, but Florenzi insists Italy will be fully prepared for a battle in Bordeaux.
“Whoever thinks that they should recover for an extra day is a loser,” he said.
“Losers make excuses. We must only focus on our strength and take that to the pitch.
“All of the 23 players in the squad can play an important role. We have reached a major peak and now there is Mount Everest.
“The facts speak for Germany, they are world champions. We will work hard to put in a performance.”
Team-mate Lorenzo Insigne said the squad are “giving everything for the shirt” under the guidance of Conte, who will leave his role after the tournament to take over at Chelsea.
“We are a united group. The coach gives confidence to everyone called up for the cause,” he said.
“We are giving everything for the shirt and we are happy that the people are close to us. We will look to make them dream more.”
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