Leonardo Bonucci ‘imagined it’d be like this because of the path we took to get here,’ as Italy started Euro 2020 by pummelling Turkey 3-0.
The Azzurri notched up a ninth consecutive victory, in which they scored 28 goals and conceded none.
“When you start this adventure, you need some tension, some goosebumps, the desire to get out there. I imagined it’d be like this because of the path we took to get here,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia.
“Now this is the first in a long journey, so we keep our feet on the ground, as it’s going to be a run of very close games, the opponents will get to know us better, but we know that we can have our say.
“We have to keep our heads. We said in the locker room we needed a clear head and hot heart. We have to put determination into it and give the best of our capabilities.”
The atmosphere in the Stadio Olimpico was marvellous, with 16,000 fans in an Italian arena for the first time since March 2020.
“With people around us in the stands, it’s a whole other style of football. They keep our hearts aflame throughout the match.
“Now from tomorrow let’s cancel out the negative, take the positive and prepare for the next match.”
Italy are in Group A with Turkey, Switzerland and Wales.