Speaking after Sampdoria’s crucial win over Hellas Verona on Sunday – played behind closed doors in line with measures in Italy to contain the COVID-19 outbreak – the Blucerchiati coach Claudio Ranieri underlined the significance of the victory.
He said: “This is a very important win for us – we needed to get the three points. As I said ahead of the game a week ago – they’re like the sister team of Atalanta.
“They press you all over the pitch – they suffocate you. However we put in a display of real heart, self-sacrifice, substance and desire.
“It was a surreal atmosphere but we’re professionals, so we keep going, as long as we can. It’s not easy in these circumstances to keep the team focused, but I understood the importance of this game.
“Our goal is like our family, so it should be defended, because we’re playing for our lives, our future. The fans will have suffered, having been kept away from the game, so we dedicate these three points to them.”
(Photo Getty Images)