Antonio Conte has hailed Italy’s quarter-final opponents Germany as the most complete side in the world, highlighting the size of the task awaiting his side on Saturday.
Italy were comprehensively beaten the last time the two sides met, with Antonio Conte’s men succumbing to a strong Germany side in a pre-tournament warmup fixture by four goals to one.
This meeting, however, comes at a time when the Azzurri are brimming with confidence, having confounded skeptics by not only progressing to the quarter-final stage, but doing so playing some of the best football of the tournament.
“We are playing a very strong team,” he said at a pre match press conference.
“I think they’re better than Spain at this moment in time,” he continued. “They have everything that a strong side needs, technical ability, talent, physical power, organisation, tactical set-up. They are the most complete side in the world.
“They are in a very good period with a lot of strong players,” the 46-year-old added.
Despite the praise Conte heaped on Joachim Low’s side, he made it clear that there is no anxiety in his team about the fixture.
“I don’t know if I’d have preferred being at home as opposed to being stressed,” he said with a smile. “I don’t need to keep an eye on stressing them out, there are more serious problems than emotional stress.
“We view Germany as by far and away the best side in the world but I don’t want to stress my players out from this perspective.
“We’ve studied the opposition as it will be a different match to the Spain game. We’re well aware of our strengths and weaknesses, as we are those of the opposition,” Conte concluded.