Italy, Spalletti: Zaniolo could be a top player, but needs discipline

In preparation for the 2024 European Championships, Italian National team coach, Luciano Spalletti, recently opened up about his team’s prospects, player performance and his past tenure at Napoli during an interview on ‘TG Poste’.

Spalletti made it emphatically clear that there are “no easy groups in football”. He intriguingly framed the situation from the perspective of rivals, saying, “From the opponents’ point of view, having drawn Italy from the fourth pot is not an easy pill to swallow. We have our history, and being the reigning champions, we are obligated to go out there and play to our potential.”

One player Spalletti gave special mention to is Zaniolo. He praised the player’s abilities, saying that Zaniolo is “an extremely strong player” with many of the qualities required to become a top athlete. However, Spalletti also stressed that these innate talents aren’t enough. He emphasised the need for Zaniolo to improve his skills and cultivate a sense of discipline in an effort to maximise his potential.

Spalletti also took time to reflect on his past tenure at Napoli. He fondly recounted his time there, attributing much of his success to the city’s passionate support. The emotion that Napoli’s supporters brought to the club played a pivotal role in making amends for missteps in his journey. “Their passion, their emotional involvement put things right that happen to go wrong over a long journey,” he recalled. He praised the supporters’ boundless love that made it easier to fix what’s not going well and stated his time in Napoli allowed him to achieve an exceptional feat due to the contributions of all those involved.

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