Atalanta midfielder Matteo Pessina said Gianluca Vialli told him he would be involved ‘and do well’ at the Euros. ‘I couldn’t be happier’.
The Orobici player replaced an injured Stefano Sensi only days before the competition started and was decisive with his match-winning goals against Wales and Austria.
Pessina entered against the Austrians in the last 16 and added his second goal of the competition to send Italy through to the quarter-finals.
“When they explained to me that I would not start at the European Championship, Vialli then looked at me and said I would go there and I would do well anyway,” Pessina told Sky Sport Italia.
“In the end, it went like this and I couldn’t be happier.”
Pessina said the ‘first five minutes’ against England on Sunday ‘felt like a nightmare’, but stressed the Azzurri always believed they could turn the game around.
“It was the first time we went behind and we weren’t used to it,” Pessina said. “For the first five minutes, it felt like a nightmare.
“Even I was scared on the bench. But after those five minutes, we thought we would turn it around and win it. We all felt that something and we felt this cup was ours.”
Pessina revealed Leonardo Bonucci fought for the parade in Rome yesterday.
“Leo fought a lot, because it was right that we celebrate with the fans. We fought and they gave it to us.”