Montella on what unites Turkey with Italian fans, enthusiasm for EURO 2024 and the confrontation with Spalletti

Vincenzo Montella jokes that Turkish fans remind him of the Neapolitans and that EURO 2024 in Germany will be “a bit like being at home” as he faces Luciano Spalletti’s Italy in a friendly this evening.

Kick-off will be at the Stadio Dall’Ara in Bologna at 8:00 p.m. UK time (7:00 p.m. GMT).

You can follow all the preparation and action as it unfolds on the LIVEBLOG.

There are around 25,000 fans at the Stadio Dall’Ara this evening, but not all of them support Italy.

“The Turks are a bit like us Neapolitans, they are all over the world,” Montella told Sky Sport Italia.

“When we play in Germany, it will be a bit like being at home.”

Turkey will begin their EURO 2024 campaign against Georgia on June 18, then Portugal on June 22 and Czechia on June 26.

“The country gave me a very warm welcome, I’m happy, we’re playing this evening against the reigning European champions. I’m happy, it will be an emotional day for me, obviously.

“Italy has the same history all the time, they are very competitive, especially in major tournaments.”

Montella reunites with Spalletti

The coach turns 50 later this month and has been on the Turkish bench since September 2023, overseeing three wins, one draw and two defeats.

He is under some pressure after losing the last friendly match 6-1 against Austria on March 26.

It’s also a special match for Montella as he faces his former coach Spalletti, who took over the Italy job in September 2023.

“I worked with Spalletti at Empoli, at Sampdoria, of course for many years in Rome, we are friends and there is a relationship of great affection. I think over the years he has proven himself to be the best and that makes this match even more important to me.

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