After losing to France in the semi-finals, Thibaut Courtois was honest: “I don’t know why we have to play the small final on Sunday,” he said.
The opponent is the European champions Italy and they want to give their best to their people.
“We are not interested in what Courtois or the Belgians think about this match,” Jorginho said during a news conference on Saturday.
“All that matters is how we handle this match and how excited we are for it. We lost for the first time after a run of 37 matches so we are hungry to do better.”
“It won’t be easy: Belgium has a great team and has been number one in the world for several years. We’ll have to play one hundred percent to beat them.”
Manuel Locatelli shares this view. “Make sure we want to win,” said the Juventus midfielder, who is hoping to grab a starting position at home.
“We want to get back on track with the win and we also need wins for our place in the FIFA rankings.”
In this world ranking, the Italians are fifth, and the top seven, including host country Qatar, will be seeded next year in April in the World Cup draw.
Substitutions will be made for the European champion. Leonardo Bonucci is suspended, and the newcomers are also expected to start up front.
“Of course we will make some changes,” national team coach Roberto Mancini confirmed on Saturday.
“It’s a good time to give young players a chance, so that they are ready when we really need them.”
“That doesn’t mean we don’t think the match against Belgium is important. We want to win.”
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