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Italy are the weakest defending champions since Greece! Why nobody is tipping Luciano Spalletti's side to win Euro 2024

Luciano Spalletti knows that Italy are not yet on the same level as Euro 2024 rivals England, France, Germany, Croatia, Spain and Portugal. He believes that they can be, though. There are "no d*ckheads" in his squad, he says, only players that are so committed to the cause that they're even willing to give up playing PlayStation for a month!

Consequently, Spalletti is adamant that he has a panel of players with not only the talent but the right attitude to emulate Italy's shock tournament triumph at Wembley just three years ago. "Even the Azzurri under [Roberto] Mancini in 2021 were not the strongest on paper," the coach has argued. "Then, they became a special team."

However, while Italy are once again arriving at a second successive European Championship having failed to qualify for the preceding World Cup, the similarities between Mancini's men and Spalletti's side end there.

Italy were in rude health ahead of the last Euros. This time around, they're in utter disarray after three years of turmoil. As a result, most fans aren't dreaming about winning the tournament; they're fearing a first-round exit. Because not since Greece in 2008 have we seen a reigning European champion turn up to defend their title in such poor condition.

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