The head coach of the Italian national team, Luciano Spalletti, answered the question of why he congratulated Zenit St. Petersburg on winning the Russian championship against the backdrop of a full-scale war that the Russian Federation continues to wage against Ukraine.
At a press conference before the match of the last 10th round of selection for Euro-2024 against the Ukrainian national team, the 64-year-old Italian specialist said that he sees nothing wrong with his act.
According to Spalletti, "it is incorrect to tie sporting events to conflicts." The helmsman of the Squadra Azzurra also assured that he opposes any conflict and war.
"First of all, I coached a lot of players in that team and worked with a lot of coaches. In addition, there were 5 employees that I worked with in this team. At that time, Alex Miller was also in charge of the club. I was congratulated on winning my championship and I think I had the right to do the same by congratulating them on winning their championship.
It seems to me that it is a little incorrect to tie sporting events and sports activities to conflicts with which I categorically disagree. I am against any conflict and war in general. We Italians, in particular the Italian national team, are very close to those people who are suffering.
I and all of us think about the people who want to live in peace, about the children who are gone. I would like to note that we very much hope that this conflict will end as soon as possible. We are close to all people who are suffering. I also have to mention the people affected by the floods in Tuscany," Spalletti said.
In May of this year, Spalletti, who was then still the head coach of Napoli, recorded a video message to Zenit, which he headed from 2009 to 2014. The coach stated the similarity of the life principles of the Neapolitan and St. Petersburg clubs, confessing his love for the team from the terrorist country.
The match between Ukraine and Italy will take place on Monday, November 20, at the BayArena stadium in Leverkusen, Germany. The game kicks off at 21:45 Kyiv time. The text online broadcast of the Ukraine vs Italy match is available on our website.
Serhiy Rebrov's wards need to defeat the reigning European champions with any score to get a direct ticket to Euro-2024. But for Luciano Spalletti's team, a draw in the duel with the Ukrainians will be enough to get to the European Championship.
Earlier it was reported that the national team of Ukraine guaranteed itself a place in the play-offs for Euro-2024. The "blue-yellows" will play in the playoffs in case of defeat or draw in the match against Italy.
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