Tuesday, 27 May 2008

[Euro 2008] Official Azzurri photos

The Italy squad today had their official tournament photographs taken at the Coverciano training base.

Before that, several of the Azzurri players spoke to the media. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he can’t wait for the European Championships to begin.

"We start this adventure as favourites but it will certainly not be easy," he said. "The important thing is that we maintain the same hunger and desire shown during the World Cup tournament two years ago."

Several players from that World Cup-winning side of 2006 were not called up for the tournament in Austria and Switzerland but Buffon says that is normal with any international side.

"It is clear that in two years things change. There are new players who have exploded and others that maybe have picked up injuries, I think for example Vincenzo Iaquinta.

"It will not be easy to repeat what we did in Germany but certainly we all have a strong desire. The group we are in is difficult, but not only becuase of the three opponents but also because we are there.

"We are calm and respect all of the opponents because if Holland and France have tradition, Romania have strong players like Adrian Mutu, and they will have the desire to put in a good display. That will not be easy."

Fabio Quagliarella is one of tose new players in the squad and says he will do his best to convince Roberto Donadoni that he deserves to stay in the final squad. "I am delighted to be here," the Udinese forward said.

"It is already beautiful to be part of the group and I very much hope to be part of the final squad. However, I repeat, I am serene, and the important thing is to be available to the coach and the team."

Quagliarella said he is proud to part of a squad that has a large Neapolitan contingent. "Here I feel at home, we have many players from Naples and we speak in that dialect. I'm happy, because this is the demonstration that Naples is not just about bad things."

He added that if he is the player who is dropped, he would be delighted to take part in the Olympic Games in August. "Now I want to think solely about the Euro’s. But if I were to be excluded, why not take part in the Olympic team. The important thing is to be available for this jersey."

Alberto Aquilani was a surprise call-up and the Roma youngster wants to put a difficult season behind him and look forward to the tournament. "Now I am here and I want to stay," he said.

"I really hope to be part of the twenty-three. This was a season of disappointment because of the injuries, but luckily I'm good now."

After the media briefings, the squad took part in the official tournament photoshoots with the national team sponsors. They were dressed in their Dolce & Gabbana suits and Puma kits before going through a training session in the afternoon.

Tomorrow, Donadoni will have to drop one of the players from the squad and hand the official 23-man list to UEFA. Only one training session, in the morning, remains for the players to impress the coach.

A second training session will be held in the afternoon in view of Friday’s final friendly match with Belgium.

Source: FIGC

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