Former Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi said it’s ‘a great satisfaction to see’ Manuel Locatelli and Domenico Berardi play for Italy in Euro 2020.
The new Shakhtar Donetsk coach follows his former players during the European Championship and said Italy CT Roberto Mancini makes the fans ‘proud to be Italian’.
“I have no merits, I’m probably only the tip of the iceberg,” De Zerbi told Il Corriere dello Sport. “During the championship, every time there was an international break, 13 or 14 players would leave.
“On Friday evening, there were also [Kaan] Ayhan, [Mert] Muldur and [Merih] Demiral for Turkey, also players who were previously linked with Sassuolo, such as [Francesco] Acerbi.
“But it was a great satisfaction to see Locatelli and Berardi so integrated and functional in Mancini’s game.
“It’s a team that has fun, that has its own identity, that has courage, that makes us proud to be Italian and has made people want to cheer for the national team again.”
De Zerbi also said he was ‘shocked’ by the TV images when Christian Eriksen collapsed during Denmark vs. Finland on Saturday.
“The images on TV were very strong and shocked me,” he continued. “I wish Eriksen to return to a normal life and then to that of a football player, because talents like him deserves to express himself on the pitch.
“But the images of his teammates remains, that human cord that first protects him and then accompanies him off the pitch.
“In the drama, a unique, moving moment.”