Italy look to build up momentum against Ireland, says Parolo

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Italy have already secured top spot in Group E but midfielder Marco Parolo says they will not take their foot off the pedal against Ireland on Wednesday as the Azzurri seek to build up momentum at Euro 2016.

The Italians are already ensured of a last-16 clash with the Group D runners-up after winning their first two matches against Belgium and Sweden.

They last won their three group games of a major tournament at Euro 2000, going on to lose in the final against France.

“Winning helps you win,” Parolo was quoted as saying on the Italian federation’s website (www.figc.it) on Monday.

“To end the group stage with nine points would be extra proof of our strength and character. We want all three points.”

Parolo, who was in the squad when Italy were knocked out in the first round of the 2014 World Cup, is playing in his first European Championship, a competition he believes is very tight.

“There are no longer weak teams and it’s very tactical,” he said. “Almost every players who are here play in big leagues.”

It is, however, team work that will make the difference.

“Perhaps the fact that we don’t identify ourselves around a single player is an advantage,” the central

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