Euro 2012

Barzagli: We need a team effort & complete focus to stop Rooney

Italy centre-back Andrea Barzagli has underlined the importance of team-work and focus as his side aim to neutralise the threat of Wayne Rooney in the Euro 2012 quarter-final against England.

The Manchester United striker appeared in his first game of the tournament against Ukraine, and netted the winner as the Three Lions secured top spot in Group D with a 1-0 victory.

Barzagli praised the qualities of Rooney, but insisted that his team will be capable of containing the 26-year-old international on Sunday.

"As a team we can stop him, we are four at the back, so an effort from the entire team is needed," the Juventus defender told reporters at the pre-match press conference.

"We know just how good Rooney is and how England are as a side. We need to be 100 per cent focused to counteract this player.

"No side at this tournament has been able to keep a clean sheet. I don't think we've suffered any more than any other side here - we have only conceded twice. There's a lot of quality attacking here."

Finally, Barzagli took time to comment on the atmosphere ahead the quarter-final clash against Roy Hodgson's England.

"It is the eve of a very important game. You're a bit tense, focused, but happy to be there. There are no games better or worse at these tournaments; you just want to be there."

England and Italy kick off at 20:45CET on Sunday.


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