Vladimir Petkovic, Switzerland coach and former Lazio coach, spoke in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. His statements
On the bench of the Lazio has been there from the summer of 2012 to the beginning of 2014 and, on May 26, 2013, was the leader of the team that gave the fans of the Lazio the greatest joy of their footballing life. We are talking about Vladimir Petkovic, current ct of the Switzerland, who spoke in the columns of The Gazzetta dello Sport of the next Europeans. Here are his statements.
ON THE LINK WITH ROME – «Returning to Rome, a wonderful city in which I lived a very important part of my career, is always nice. It is no coincidence that, when I can, I always make a visit. Due to the Coronavirus, however, I have not been going there for almost two years, so I can’t wait for the match with Italy. It will be a good day for me. I am linked both to that city and to that stadium, in which I won a historic cup for Roman and Italian football, and of particular importance for Lazio fans.».
ABOUT EUROPE – «We have the misfortune of having to travel a lot in the group stage, we will go back and forth between Rome and Baku. That will be a considerable waste of energy. However, we must concentrate from game to game. We want to be the surprise, but we must always have respect for our opponents. But we must be hungry, want to emerge. And so great results can be achieved. Even historical. Dreaming is good, but only if you keep reality in mind. The goals are unlimited, but besides being optimistic you have to be realistic».
ON THE MATCH AGAINST ITALY – «The first game against Wales will be very important, also because on the second day we will have to face Italy which obviously is the most important opponent and we must get to that game with peace of mind. Mancini’s is a tough team .. I believe that you are not only the favorites of the group, but that you are also among the candidates for the final victory.».
ON THE AZZURRA NATIONAL – «Italy has many high-class players, with important potential both for the present and for the future. Your players are all involved in the major leagues in Europe, which is a great advantage. The players called up by Mancini are used to facing important games, to be under pressure».
ABOUT SWITZERLAND – «Ours is a path that starts from afar. In 1992 the federation hired Roy Hodgson as their coach. He brought a new philosophy, he aimed big. From that moment on, several coaches of different nationalities have alternated and each has made a contribution. We are determined to impose our football even against strong teams like Italy. We want to dominate on the pitch, we want to win. Regardless of the opponent’s name. What is certain is that we will not hide. Neither against Italy, nor against anyone».
ABOUT ROBERTO MANCINI – «He created a nice group. Italy, prior to his arrival, had come from a series of negative results. Some historians. For this it was not easy. Mancini, however, worked well, building from scratch. The team has a precise identity and this is his merit. It is no coincidence that the Federation has renewed his contract until 2026, moving the deadline far beyond time. For the technical stewards it is not obvious to have such a long contract, but obviously his work has been appreciated. Rightly».