Matteo Pessina has likened the current Italy team to a painting by legendary Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.
The 24-year-old Atalanta midfielder has been a revelation at Euro 2020 so far, scoring two goals in as many games, and he takes a keen interest in art outside of football.
“One of my favourite painters is Van Gogh and I like to think of this team as one of his paintings,” he said in his press conference. “Beautiful and one of a kind.
“We have always known our strength. But when we’re talking between ourselves, we never discuss how far we can go because we are always focused on every single game.”
Pessina scored one of his goals in the 1-0 victory against Wales and he discovered that his grandfather was offered drinks before going to Sardinia on holidays.
“To think that when I scored against Wales, my grandparents were waiting to head off to Sardinia and they watched the game in a bar,” the Italy midfielder said.
“My grandfather told everyone I was his grandson and they offered him a drink!”
Pessina went on to score Italy’s second, and eventual winner, in their 2-1 defeat of Austria that booked their place in the quarter-finals.