Leonid BURYAK: “I was surprised by such pressing by the Italians”


The former head coach of the Ukrainian national team, Leonid Buryak, shared his impressions of the Euro 2024 qualifying match against Italy (defeat 1:2):

“The match with England took away a lot of strength from our football players. It often happens that the second game in a row against a difficult opponent is worse than the previous one. It must be admitted – Italy had an advantage and deservedly won.

The Italians are higher in skill than our players. Plus, the Italian national team played at home, even after an unsuccessful previous match, so they had nowhere to go. It is important that our team can play against any team, we have many quality performers, but there are also those who are given too high advances so far.

I was surprised by such pressing of the Italians. Spalletti changed so many performers for this match, and the team played such good football! I liked the performance of Zagnolo, Barella and Frattesi. And the entire defensive line of the Italian national team coped perfectly with our passive attacks. Yes, of course, there were mistakes in the moment with Yarmolenko’s goal, and this goal increased the intrigue, but in general, the Italians created many scoring episodes, and hit the crossbar, and Bushchan helped the guests so much. Italy was very mobile and with a large reserve of skill.

We must praise Zabarny, Bushan and Yarmolenko. I would like to note that the replacements in our team were unsuccessful. None of those who came out during the game strengthened it. And if Buyalski and Vanat simply ran out of time, then Mudryk and Yaremchuk could not prove themselves. In general, I would like to note that it is time for our team to grow up, because one normal counterattack for the whole match is not enough. It worked with England, but not with Italy. In addition, we lost all the standards, and everything that the Italians did from the standards was dangerous.

Everything will finally be decided only in the match between Ukraine and Italy. Before that, of course, every team risks losing precious points somewhere. The same Italians will still play with England… So, we are waiting for intrigue.”

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