Second Conference final for Fiorentina, Italian: “The sum of hard work”

“I hope that our efforts, hard work and all the attention we have dedicated to this competition will give us the icing on the cake.” Talk like this Vincenzo ItalianoFiorentina coach, speaking to UEFA ahead of the Conference League final scheduled for Wednesday in Athens against Olympiacos.

Fiorentina have reached their second consecutive Conference League final. “All of us are proud and very happy. We played in a European competition for two consecutive years and both times we reached the final. It is a great joy, the sum of hard work in three wonderful years. Last season we went on a journey fantastic, even if the ending wasn’t good. This year we did it again and it wasn’t easy. We will try to give our best because Fiorentina haven’t won a trophy for many years. We have another opportunity and this time we will try to prepare for it better. I hope that our efforts, hard work and all the attention we have dedicated to this competition will give us the icing on the cake.”

The defeat in the final against West Ham
“We had the match point in the last minutes, after having equalized with Bonaventura, Rolando Mandragora’s opportunity. Unfortunately in these matches the details make the difference. The slightest drop in concentration can lead to mistakes and you have to be perfect.”

How Fiorentina has changed compared to last season
“We’ve been trying to make small changes since the beginning of the season. We had already started changing the position of the midfielders towards the end of last season, then we tried to play some defenders further forward to develop the action better. That’s why a central defender As a Quarta he scored ten goals. We are all happy, especially him, because generally defenders don’t score that much.”

Facing a Greek team in Athens
“We will face difficult opponents. If you can win twice in the semi-finals [contro l’Aston Villa] you have to be good at it. For them it will be a home game. Sure, it’s not their stadium, but they will still play in their city. I think it will be even more difficult for us. When you enter the pitch and the referee blows the whistle to start, however, everything else takes second place. We just have to concentrate on beating an opponent who in my opinion has quality and ability, but as always we will try to get the most out of the match.”

What it would mean to win the trophy
My first thought is about the team and the boys. It would be a great reward for them, for everything they have done in the last two seasons in this competition. Fiorentina have been in the top half of the table for three years now. We continue to do well in the Conference League and honor a great tournament. For me this is the level at which Fiorentina must remain: a high level. It’s what people want and clamor for, the level we have to play at. Getting to the final or semi-final, fighting to get to the top half of the table every year. It’s a path we can take.”