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Former Inter forward Christian Vieri spoke with Gazzetta dello Sport and was full of praise for Graziano Pellè who is having a fine Euro 2016:

Pellè was exceptional against Spain. He really went all out for the team. Sometimes people who don’t understand football brand players who only do 2-3 things as ‘generous’.  Pellè , the other night, played well  and benefited all departments. His work with his back to goal and his chesting and heading was great. This allowed the midfield and defence to breathe. He also favoured the runs of the midfielders by playing one-twos, sometimes with his head. Eder himself was allowed to dash into space: 7 of 8 high balls were Pellè’ and he was always there when his team mates were struggling. When you have a guy like that in the team, your defence will never struggle. You can get the ball out of the defence even more quickly because you always have a point of reference up there who is capable of receiving the ball or creating space, all the while opening passing lanes for his team mates. I mean people (who can dash into space) like Giaccherini, Parolo, Candreva or Florenzi, just to be clear.

Plus he scored twice, in two episodes that were almost identical. He was able to close on his chance, he’s big and he’s brave. He fears no-one, and these are days when you meet players who are real beasts, so you must know how to command respect.”

He also added, “Pellè took care of two giants like Sergio Ramos and Pique all on his own. In brief, he exploits his qualities to the utmost. He’s not a player for the counter, he must be used exactly the way Conte is using him. Not all great strikers know how to play with their backs to the goal.

Vieri also drew comparisons with his own career “A player like that, who is willing to learn, can be asked to keep on learning all the way until he’s 35. I used to be eyed with doubt because of my technical ‘roughness’, but to the end of my career I always kept expecting more of myself. You can improve at every age, and those who stop can’t go anywhere.”

Source: Gazzetta dello Sport