Emanuele Giaccherini has revealed how he delivered Italy's pre-match pep talk, prior to their Euro 2016 victory against Spain today.
Giaccherini - Sunderland's sole remaining representative at the tournament - helped Italy to an impressive 2-0 victory over Spain this afternoon to set up a quarter-final tie against Germany.
The Italians were dark horses prior to the championships getting underway, yet their togetherness and organisation has shone in wins against much-fancied Belgium and Spain.
And Giaccherini, who is still expected to leave Sunderland permanently this summer after spending last season on loan at Bologna, has given an insight into the spirit in the Italian camp.
"Today I made the speech to the players before the game, telling them we needed heart because tactics can only take you so far, and we had heart," said the 31-year-old.
“A different player makes the pre-match speech every time, as we are a group and everyone plays their part."
Giorgio Chiellini gave Italy a deserved half-time lead and they should have added to that advantage, with Spain keeper David De Gea making a string of crucial saves.
But a stoppage time goal from Southampton's Graziano Pelle sealed victory for Italy, who will face world champions Germany on Saturday night.
"It should’ve been more than 2-0, added Giaccherini to Sky Italia.
“We suffered towards the end of the second half, as we got too deep and they have exceptional players, but we had so many chances and could certainly have finished it earlier.”