Conte calls on astronaut to help Italy soar at EURO 2016

Italy coach Antonio Conte summoned help from astronaut Luca Parmitano to inspire his players prior to Friday night's (AEST) 1-0 EURO 2016 win over Sweden in Toulouse, as the Italians continued their perfect start to the tournament.

Italy

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It has been revealed that Parmitano, who became the first Italian to take part in a spacewalk in July 2013, gave a talk to the Italian squad this week at the Casa Azzurri in Montpellier, the team's headquarters in France.

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Parmitano, 39, stressed the importance of teamwork, motivation and preparation, something Conte had tried to get across to his players since he took the reins in 2014.



"I'm not a football expert but I am a fan of the national team," Parmitano said.

"Even we, astronauts, are a small team, we train in a rigorous manner and we wear a blue suit. Just like the players of the national team, we are aware that we represent Italy's image around the world."

Italy, runners-up at EURO 2012, arrived in France minus star players and with a squad that many believed to be the country's weakest in a long time.



While Conte's men produced a workmanlike display in their 2-0 triumph over Belgium in their Group E opener, Friday's win seals Italy's place in the knockout stage, prior to their final group stage fixture against Ireland on Thursday morning (AEST) in Lille.


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Published 18 June 2016 at 9:10am
Source: RAW