Fabio Capello Explains How Italy Can Beat Switzerland In EURO 2024 RO16, Tips 26-Year-Old To Pay Key Role

Fabio Capello Italy Legend
Fabio Capello Italy Legend

Former tactician Fabio Capello has advised Italy to play with more pace in their upcoming EURO 2024 Round-of-16 appointment with Switzerland. Capello has also backed Luciano Spalletti to give Juventus star Federico Chiesa a starring role, claiming he is the most “international” player the Azzurri have at their disposal.

Italy Have Had a Forgettable EURO 2024 Campaign

Defending European champions Italy have had a mediocre start to EURO 2024. They somehow managed to secure a 2-1 victory in their first Group B fixture against Albania before suffering a 1-0 defeat to group-toppers Spain. In their final Group B game against Croatia, Italy salvaged a 1-1 draw, with Mattia Zaccagni scoring the much-needed equalizer in the eighth minute of added time.

After finishing second in Group B with four points, Italy will face Group A runners-up Switzerland in the first Round-of-16 match of EURO 2024 on Saturday (June 29). Unlike Italy, the Swiss are unbeaten so far, winning once and drawing twice (5 points).

Fabio Capello Wants To See Federico Chiesa Front-And-Center Against Switzerland

In his column for La Gazzetta dello Sport, Capello claimed Italy needed to adopt a speedier approach against the Swiss. The ex-Real Madrid manager added Chiesa was the man for the job, as he was the most dynamic player in Italy’s ranks.

Capello wrote:

Italy, forward with faith. But by faith, I don’t just mean the spirit that the other night allowed us to throw ourselves into the box until the end and to tie the game against Croatia in the 98th minute thanks to Riccardo Calafiori’s run and Mattia Zaccagni’s magic. By faith (Fede in Italian, ed.) I also mean Federico Chiesa, who remains the most international player of our national team.

Sprints, bursts, changes of pace, high intensity. Modern football goes in this direction, just look at the Spain of Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, and the Juventus forward is the only one to have these characteristics in his locker.

Capello added that Italy had a need for speed and claimed the relatively sedate playing style of Serie A was hurting them in EURO 2024.

He is often criticized, Federico, but this national team needs him and his ability to break the bank and defences to the sound of percussion, dribbling and impromptu plays. And all the more so on Saturday afternoon, in the Round of 16,” he added.

Italy will need more speed against Switzerland, so far we’ve appeared too slow with the ball. The greatest responsibility lies with our Serie A. In the league, we see too many unnecessary horizontal passes that end up slowing down the game and lowering the pace. Not to mention the diving and time-wasting. The bill is then paid by the national team, which is less accustomed than other teams to playing at very high intensity.”

Chiesa was one of Italy’s best players as they won EURO 2020 in 2021. He scored one goal each against Austria in the Round of 16 and Spain in the semi-finals.

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