Spalletti’s Italy debate about football and video games | Euro Cup Germany 2024

With a pen held between his teeth and a notebook in his hand in which he writes down the messages he intends to spread, the Italian coach Luciano Spalletti waited behind a glass window for the moment to enter the press room at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Once captain Giovani Donnarumma’s intervention was over, the Tuscan coach began a proclamation ahead of his national team’s debut this Saturday against Albania (9:00 p.m., TVE). His oratory was that of a didacticist convinced that common sense is unbeatable in football and in life.

The man seemed upset by the reputation of a barracks sergeant who has hanged him for rationalizing the use of the PlayStation, rather than prohibiting it, in the Italian concentration in a resort by Iserlohn. “I don’t want to comment on the things I didn’t say, that is, that I don’t want the PlayStation to be used in the concentration. I’m interested in people sleeping at night. In the games room there are two beautiful and modern PlayStations, I also played. Now I will publish the photo on social networks,” joked a coach who seeks the customs of the concentrations of yesteryear compared to the heyday of technological devices that prevail among the new generations. “The kids will play the game console at the right time. Psychoanalysts and teachers say it: ‘A correct lifestyle to give your best in the field.’

Spalletti has assumed the committed task of restoring the pride of Italian football, greatly affected after the absence in the last two World Cups. Not even the status of current champion of the tournament relieves Italy and its proud tifosi. The path chosen to achieve the company involves a rational discipline in the rules of coexistence, the commitment to what the Italians call “relational play” to bring together modern football of forward pressure and ball release from behind to overcome it with quick transitions when It is the rival who exercises it. “As the All Blacks say, assholes don’t come in here,” Spalletti pronounced when he began to impose the disciplinary rules.

To reinforce the sense of belonging and the recovery of identity azzurra, last week the coach invited the legendary Antognoni (world champion in 1982), Roberto Baggio (runner-up in 1994), and Del Piero and Totti (champions in 2006) to the Coverciano facilities (Florence) to share their experiences with the squad selected for this Euro Cup. “We are the protagonists of the dream of every Italian who, as a child, left school to go play soccer all afternoon. I also told the boys this morning that we are heroes and giants,” Spalletti explained enthusiastically in his appearance before the press. “We want to be a team, always express the brand of our football. This will not ensure that we get the three points, but it will give us the feeling of being part of a whole, but not only of those who take the field, but also of the 60 million typhosi”.

The other big debate that grips Italy, the football one, focuses on whether Spalletti will play with a defense of three or four. “We can decide to play with a defense of three and it can also be a more offensive formation with two forwards, Scamacca and Retegui together, or with Raspadori behind one of the two,” explained the Italian coach. More than a specific drawing, Spalletti is immersed in the implementation of a game idea that helps him combat the absence of great talents. In Italy the prologue he wrote in the book is considered his manifesto. The perfect match, the work of the coordinator of the Italian youth categories. “The new trend, which uses players in a versatile way, does not limit imagination and spontaneity. Although you face different technical realities, this does not mean that you have to give up modern, intelligent, participatory and fun football,” he wrote. The Eurocup will pass sentence.

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