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Euro 2024: Donnarumma expecting Italy to be flawless in group stages

Gianluigi Donnarumma is expecting his Italy side to have a strong start to Euro 2024.

Gianluigi Donnarumma of Italy

Italy captain Gianluigi Donnarumma believes his side can start Euro 2024 strong and win every group stage match.

The defending champions have changed their head coach since winning the tournament at Wembley, with Luciano Spalletti replacing Roberto Mancini in the dugout.

But despite missing out on the World Cup in Qatar 18 months ago, the European champions are looking like a dangerous force again ahead of the summer’s antics in Germany.

Donnarumma has been handed the armband having played on the biggest stage for most of his career, as well as saving a decisive penalty in the shootout win over England three years ago.

And at 25, he is looking to add more silverware to his collection and make Italy back-to-back winners.

Speaking ahead of their opener against Albania, he said: “When you go into a competition like this, the energy comes naturally.

“The spirit from three years ago is still there and we will try to recreate those magical nights.

“We have a difficult group, and there will be margins for error in tomorrow’s game.

“They are fast and have quality, they play well and therefore we can’t afford to play at 70 or 80% tomorrow, it has to be 100%.

“Then, we’ll take it game to game, but tomorrow will be very important for us to take a step forward in the group.”

Alongside Italy and Albania in Group B are Croatia and Spain.

The tough calibre of their opponents means a win in the first match could be crucial if the Azzurri are to reach the knockout stages.

Donnarumma added: “There are various leaders in this group and I will make myself heard too.

“I will try to give my best. The last European Championship was fantastic, they’re unforgettable experiences, but now we’re trying to write another page in the history books.

“We have a difficult group and winning tomorrow puts us in a good position.

“If we don’t pick up points, it puts even more importance on the following two matches.

“Having said that, the objective is to pick up points, and win all three matches.”

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.