Italy boss Antonio Conte has stressed that Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti will have to fight for the place in starting XI as only one of the two will get to play from the start.
Conte will make his competitive debut for Italy tonight in Euro 2016 qualifier against Norway in Oslo. Experience midfielder Andrea Pirlo has already confirmed that he will prolong his international career but now Conte has said that it is going to give the selection headache to him. Conte feels that both Pirlo and Verratti have a similar playing style and they together can’t be a part of three man midfield, along with De Rossi.
“Yes it is true, a midfield of De Rossi, Pirlo and Verratti is too much. I see De Rossi as in the team because he has the ability to also play as a central defender.
“So when Pirlo returns, one between him and Verratti will come out as a central midfielder.” Conte was speaking in a press conference ahead of Italy’s Euro 2016 qualifier.
Meanwhile, there is still a suspense surrounding Buffon and Conte claimed that he is not aware whether the experienced goalkeeper will start the game against Norway tonight.
“I can say that Buffon will return, whilst for the rest you already know…”
There was a big controversy regarding the presence of Lazio president Claudio Lotito in the dressing room of the Italy. Conte took the opportunity to express his views on this controversy. He claimed that the presence of Lazio President and FIGC director Lotito with the team should not warrant such attention as it has.
“I will stick with what I previously said [at yesterday evening’s conference],”Conte said.
“Namely, that Lotito is a Federal director and therefore has the right to be with us.
“I am not looking beyond issues in the field, whilst it is clear that, in this regard, I am in charge here.”
Conte won three back to back Serie A titles for Juventus and expectations are clearly very high from him as he has taken the reins of Italian national team. However, he claimed that fans will have to show some patience as he is not a magician to turn the things around immediately.
“Let’s be clear, I am not a miracle worker. If this is the situation then it is not possible to perform miracles. We must begin rowing in the same direction.”