Monday, 15 June 2009

[Euro U21] Motta out to settle score with Serbia

Captain Marco Motta says Italy will be out for revenge when they open their bid for a sixth UEFA European Under-21 Championship title against Serbia in Helsingborg on Tuesday.

Marco MottaMotta was on the bench when Italy lost 1-0 to Serbia in their opening game of the 2007 finals in the Netherlands, and is keen to make amends in this Group A sequel.

"That defeat still hurts. I remember we had plenty of chances to score but we missed them all and were punished by Serbia," said the 23-year-old defender.

"Now we want revenge. Football is great because it often gives you a second chance. We weren't lucky last time but you don't just lose games because of bad luck. We made too many mistakes in front of goal.

"This time we must be more clinical."

Tipped among the favourites in Sweden, Motta says his side cannot wait to get their tournament under way.

"We're looking forward to getting started. We know we are a good team but we are eager to prove it on the pitch."

Though his former U21 team-mates Davide Santon and Giuseppe Rossi have been promoted to Italy's senior squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the right-back is "glad to be here and proud to be the captain of this great group".

The Udinese player, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Roma, added: "I want to finish the job we began several years ago."

With the likes of Mario Balotelli, Robert Acquafresca and Sebastian Giovinco up front, Italy are arguably stronger in attack this time around.

Coach Pierluigi Casiraghi has admitted as much, conceding that two summers ago the side were possibly more talented in midfield.

"I think they are an extra asset for us," Motta said of the front men. "They are fully aware that in modern football everyone has to make a few sacrifices and help out in defence."

Casiraghi has had his squad watching Serbia matches on video, and Motta anticipates a tough opening to Group A, which also includes Belarus and hosts Sweden.

"I can't say now if they are our strongest opponents," he said. "But they are a technical team who can play very good football and cause problems for any side.

"My main concern is how Italy perform – if we play our own game, we don't need to fear anyone."

[UEFA Euro U21 Championships 2009]

Source: UEFA

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