Post subject: Barzagli: Morata is now my enemy
25. Jun 2016, 19:55
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|As he prepares to face off against his former Juventus teammate Alvaro Morata in Paris on Monday, Andrea Barzagli insisted he will forget all friendships with the striker.
Spain take on the Azzurri at the Stade de France with a place in the Euro 2016 quarter-final at stake in a clash that will see the ex-Wolfsburg stopper come up against a man he called a clubmate just a few short weeks ago.
However, despite confessing that he is slightly worried about Morata’s ability in front of goal, Barzagli also insisted that any friendship the pair once shared will be forgotten as soon as they step out in the Stade de France.
“On the field, you have no friends,” he told reporters. “I find it hard even to say hello to them before the game, just as a matter of concentration. I want to be fully focused on the game and have no time for anything else.
“Morata is just one of many dangerous players though as Spain are a high quality squad and we have to be wary of them all. We know about his quality but we must pay attention to the others.
“I’ve had people telling me that Morata said I’m the strongest Italian defender but I won’t get drawn into that. We do joke a lot between us. Let’s just say I have a little fear of Morata but we will all be focused on all of their players.”
Barzagli also surprisingly revealed that a game against Spain could represent something of a blessing in disguise for the peninsula as it will ensure there is no danger of anyone’s focus dropping.
He was also quick to baulk at suggestions that his side would be fearful of La Roja and assured fans that Italy will not bow out of the competition without a serious fight.
“Facing up to a game against Spain does mean you don’t require any extra motivation and you are ready,” he added. “There is a great desire from everyone in the squad to play in a game like this and we aren’t afraid of them.
“Spain have already shown that they are one of the favourites for the title and will fight until the end but so will we. Nobody in Italy believes that we are done for.
“People were sceptical about us from the start. We weren’t among the favourites and then we were but we all have great heart and passion for the shirt.
“We are happy if we have brought some passion and pride back to wearing this jersey. When you see that you aren’t favoured, perhaps there is more desire to show what you can do and with the help of the fans we want to do that.”