• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
businessday logo


Spalletti to remain as Italy coach despite Euro 2024 exit

Luciano Spalletti

Luciano Spalletti will remain Italy’s coach despite the Azzurri’s disappointing elimination from Euro 2024, Italy’s football chief said on Sunday.

Italy exited the tournament at the last-16 stage after a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland in Berlin on Saturday night. Despite the poor performance, Spalletti’s position remains secure.

“I’m pragmatic; it’s impossible to resolve problems by abandoning a long-term project or the coach and players involved in it,” Gabriele Gravina, head of Italy’s football federation, told reporters.
Italy entered Euro 2024 as reigning champions but struggled under Spalletti, who replaced Euro 2020 winner Roberto Mancini last summer.

Gravina expressed continued support for Spalletti, emphasizing the need for patience as the team prepares for the Nations League starting in 60 days.

“We can’t expect a Kylian Mbappe or Cristiano Ronaldo to suddenly emerge, so we need to be patient,” Gravina added.

Spalletti, who took the Italy job after leading Napoli to a historic Serie A title, faced a challenging tournament. He frequently altered line-ups and formations and had tense interactions with journalists.
Before the tournament, Spalletti promised to bring his best to the role, but he acknowledged falling short.

“Obviously not, because if I had, we’d be discussing something different,” Spalletti said. “The match last night brought us back down to zero, and it’s from there that we need to start again.”

Italy’s Nations League campaign begins against France in Paris on September 6, with matches against Belgium and Israel also on the horizon in Group A2.