Euro 2024: Italy criticised and Luciano Spalletti’s future questioned after last-16 defeat by Switzerland

Spalletti bemoaned the lack of time he had spent with his squad, compared to other coaches at the tournament, injuries to certain players and even the fact Inter Milan won the title in April.

“Inter won Serie A and then I made sure they are a very professional, serious club because Simone Inzaghi kept training the team in a certain way,” he explained.

“I was in touch with how often Inter were training, but perhaps you are subconsciously not as applied when you have won the league so early.”

After suggesting his pushed his players too hard in training before the draw against Croatia, this time he said he had let them rest and made six changes to his line-up.

“What happened tonight didn’t come down to one single cause,” he added. ‘”But if that is the tempo, if you don’t do something more in terms of tempo and intensity, it becomes a lot harder to compete, and we were under par.”

Five months into his tenure in Naples, unhappy with the job he was doing, Napoli ultras stole his beloved Fiat Panda and said they would only return it if he left the club.

After this defeat, one Swiss journalist took the opportunity to quip whether Switzerland were now the Ferrari and Italy a Fiat Panda.

“You have to accept everything,” said Spalletti. “Even rather tasteless allusions like yours – you are clearly a wonderful exponent of sarcasm, and you are right, what more can you say?

“You did a better job than us, you were worthy winners, and we will try and do a better job next time.”

The Napoli ultras eventually gifted Spalletti his steering wheel back when he guided them to a first title in 33 years, and the veteran does not fear question marks over over his national team future this time either.

“When you want to scare me, say ‘now what, now what’.” he added. “I have come under pressure from day one since I decided to become a coach, to make it this far. I am very relaxed in trying to compete at this level.”

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