He knows what it takes to become World Champions. He has more than 10 years of experience playing on the top level for Posillipo and Italy national team. He is Valentino Gallo! And here is what he has to say about the upcoming tournament in Budapest.
This weekend Italy is playing the Six Nations Tournament in Syracuse. What segment of the game do you need to improve before the World Championship in Budapest?
This weekend at the tournament we need to focus on improving man up and man down. That segment of the game has been proven to be crucial and will definately be important for every team in Budapest. One goal can make the difference in big games.
In the World League final, Italy was very close to ending the Serbian trophy streak. What was the feeling in the pool – are they vulnerable or do they have an ace up their sleeve for the World Championship?
In the final of World League, the feeling in the pool was that Serbia can be beaten. When playing against them, you need to be totally focused and avoid making any mistakes, because they are the best at punishing every single one of them.
Winning against Hungary in the group stage would open the doors widely to the medal podium. Do you have any special preparations for that game?
Hungary is a very good team, but it would be very dangerous to play matches against Australia and France thinking we are going to win. I believe that in this case, it is important to play every match like a final. Against Hungary and any other team, we‘ll play like always – confident in our power!
Do you believe that Italy can repeat its gold medal success from Shangai in 2011?
I don’t know if we can repeat the gold medal of Shanghai. It was a totally different team and a completely different situation, but this team is very good and can do big things. We ‘ll see what will happen in Budapest :).
You have a lot of experience playing at the top level. Any advice on how to prepare yourself psychologically for the World Championship or Olympic Games?
The only advice I can give, is to be at 100% every day with body and mind. Only if everyone in the team is performing like that, you can have the confidence and strength to play the hardest matches in World Championships or Olympics.
There is no big tournament without Italy playing an important role. The World Championship in Budapest won’t be an exception to that. All the best to Valentino and Settebello!