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Trapattoni: Italy lack a Messi or Ronaldo figure

Former Italy boss Giovanni Trapattoni admits the current side lacks a star in the mold of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo – but insists the team remains strong.

Antonio Conte’s side could only manage unconvincing 1-0 wins over Malta and Bulgaria respectively in their most recent Euro 2016 qualifiers, although they remain top of Group H by two points with two games to play.

Trapattoni, however, has no doubt that Italy will be among the leading contenders at the finals in France next summer, telling Tuttosport: “We have to start a game with the assumption that we don’t have a Messi or a Cristiano Ronaldo, and be content with what is available.

“We have a precise identity and play with great spirit.

“Against Malta and Bulgaria, I saw players chasing their opponents for 80 metres. We’ve taken six points that bring us closer to first place in a very even group.

“Conte is very good, he manages to make the most of what he has available. The players believe in him, so we must as well.

“I’m sure we’ll be a leading protagonist at the Euros, as ever. The critics have been exaggerating, but this is something normal.”

Tue 8 Sep, 2015
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