EURO 2024 Italy: Altafini feels Spalletti's striker decision 'wrong' against Croatia

Former Italy striker Jose Altafini feels Gianluca Scamacca is excessively criticised, so Luciano Spalletti should start the Atalanta star instead of Mateo Retegui against Croatia tonight.

Spalletti is expected to make four changes to the formation that beat Albania and lost to Spain in the opening two matches of EURO 2024, one of which concerns the centre-forward.

Scamacca started the first two games in the competition, but Genoa‘s Retegui is expected to get the nod in attack tonight.

“I like Scamacca, especially technically. He’s too criticised, like Romelu Lukaku,” Altafini told Gazzetta on Monday on page nine.

“Those are strikers who hold the ball up front, but if the team does not dominate in midfield and does not create chances, the centre-forward is affected. It wasn’t Scamacca’s fault if the team was not calm.”

Therefore, starting Retegui would be an error, according to Altafini.

EURO 2024 Italy: Altafini feels Spalletti’s striker decision ‘wrong’ against Croatia

“I think it’s wrong. I would have confirmed the team that lost to Spain. When you win, you are calm, but when you lose, you double the rage.”

However, Spalletti didn’t change any player after a 1-0 win over Albania and said after the Spain game that a few of them were excessively tired after playing two consecutive matches.

“Retegui is good, but not top-class,” continued Altafini.

“His strength is that he makes the most of nearly every chance he has. He’s a great finisher.

“He will have less pressure, so perhaps less fear. Maybe, he links up with the midfield in a different way and he helps by running a lot.

“Retegui sacrifices a lot and it can be important to this team, but a centre forward can’t spend 90 minutes chasing the opponents and tracking back. A striker can’t be tired when he’s in front of the goal.”

The Genoa striker was born in Argentina but made his Italy debut in 2023 under Roberto Mancini scoring a goal in his first senior appearance with the Azzurri against England.

The 25-year-old has four goals in 10 appearances with the Azzurri.

“When you play, you don’t think about whether you were born in Italy or Argentina,” concluded Altafini.

“Retegui has chosen Italy so he wants to win with this jersey and make a good impression.”

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