Antonio Conte is eager and looking forward to the Euro 2016, as Italy prepare to round off qualification with a match against Norway on Tuesday.
Italy secured qualification with a 3-1 win over Azerbaijan over the weekend. But Conte’s men can go unbeaten in group H, if they avoid defeat against Norway.
Conte featured at the Euro with Italy in 2000, but the former Juventus coach is looking forward to leading the Azzurri’s at the competition.
“Going to the Euros will be a unique experience,” he said.
“I’ve been jealous of colleagues who have gone [to the tournament] before, but this time the pleasure will be mine.
“Our goal will be to finish in the top four, but it will depend on how good we are and how things fall in place. We certainly won’t start as favourites.
“I’ve always found it difficult to go into a competition with an idea of how far we should progress. Quality and luck usually decide.”
Marco Verratti will not be risked against Norway at the Stadio Olimpico after picking up a knock, with Conte warning those outside the squad to earn a place ahead of the Euros.
“Verratti took a knock to his leg. If tomorrow’s game was decisive I would risk him, but we will give him a rest. He’s very devoted,” he added.
“Any new players coming into the squad will obviously have to prove their worth if they want to play at Euro 2016.
“We’ll try to use as many of the previous eleven in Rome, especially [Graziano] Pelle and Eder. I’m lucky to have players who believe in what we’re doing. That makes me very confident.
“I think Norway and Croatia will both be at Euro 2016. We know that the game will be difficult, but we’re going for a win.”