Ciro Immobile: Italy can win Euro 2020
Italy thump Armenia 9-1 to end their qualifying campaign with a perfect record
Italy striker Ciro Immobile sounded a warning to the Azzurri's rivals, declaring that his team can win Euro 2020.
He made the comments after scoring a brace in the 9-1 Euro 2020 qualifying mauling of Armenia in Palermo yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Nicolo Zaniolo (brace), Nicolo Barella, Alessio Romagnoli, Jorginho, Riccardo Orsolini and Federico Chiesa also got their names on the scoresheet in the Group J fixture, while Edgar Babayan grabbed Armenia's consolation goal.
Lazio striker Immobile told Italian broadcaster Rai Sport: "I hope that we can reproduce this form at the Euros.
"Let's see who we get during the draw, but we feel like we can do something special at the Euros. Winning the Euros? It is possible, yes. We hope so."
Already-qualified Italy registered an 11th straight win under coach Roberto Mancini, as the four-time world champions showed they were back on track after failing to qualify for last year's World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Italy have won all 10 of their qualifying matches for the first time and are assured of a seeding in the Euro 2020 draw on Nov 30 in Bucharest, Romania.
Looking ahead to the draw, the 54-year-old Mancini said that many teams would want to avoid being grouped together with Italy.
He said: "I say they are stronger because they are ahead of us with their work. France won the World Cup and are a young group.
"Spain are the same. Belgium have developed a lot of extraordinary players over the past five to six years.
"After that, the others would prefer to avoid Italy because of our past."
Despite Italy's excellent record in qualifying, the 22-year-old Barella believes the youthful nature of the Azzurri team means they will not be under too much pressure next June.
He told Rai Sport: "We are younger than many of the big sides like Spain, Germany and England, but we also probably go in with less pressure on our heads and hope to use that attitude to enjoy our tournament."
From the doom and gloom that descended after Italy's failure to qualify for Russia, Mancini seems to have engineered not just a turnaround in fortunes but also in spirits.
Said Chiesa: "We enjoy it on the pitch during a match, we enjoy ourselves in training and it's a pleasure to be here. Coach drilled that enthusiasm into us from the first day."
Leonardo Bonucci, who has been in the national set-up for almost a decade, added: "Honestly, I have never had so much fun with the national team, we dominated every game."
Brazilian-born Jorginho went one step further, telling Rai Sport: "Maybe there is a little bit of Brazil in this Italy! We have an attacking approach...
"We wanted to keep enjoying our football and entertaining the crowd."