Conte gives Italy a good chance to beat Belgium in the quarter-finals of the European Championship in Munich on Friday. “We can make it very difficult for them,” he wrote in a contribution to Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday.
Conte led Inter to the title in Italy last season, thanks in large part to Belgian top scorer Romelu Lukaku. He knows the Red Devils’ attack leader well.
“Lukaku is a force of nature,” says Conte. “He does it on his own. But I don’t invent hot water when I say that the presence or absence of De Buyne and Hazard can change the balance.”
Italy will start with equal chances against Belgium, according to Conte. “We can make it very difficult for them, win the game and move on,” he says.
At the same time, the former coach of the Azzurri, who won the European Championship with Italy (2-0) against Belgium in 2016, stressed that the Red Devils “individually and collectively form a strong team”.
In the eighth final match against Portugal, he did not find the number 1 in the FIFA rankings convincing. “I have a lot of appreciation for their coach’s work,” he said at first.
“Martinez has done well in recent years, but the performance against Portugal didn’t quite convince me, both offensively and defensively. We can definitely get them into trouble on the wings.”
How Italy should deal with it on Friday, Conte leaves open. He says he has great confidence in Roberto Mancini, the current national team coach. It seems he “didn’t need my advice”.
“He can create a tactical situation like no other. Roberto will certainly bring together a team between the lines who will be able to handle any situation.”