“The result we get in the first match is important; a draw or a win can cause confusion in the group,” he told UEFA.com
“I hope so. I want to see our strength in the first match; even if we lose, it’s important to play well.
“I hope it’s going to be a great game, an enjoyable game, and that we win!”
His opposite number, former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, was typically cagey ahead of the opening match of the tournament, but he said he wanted his team to play without pressure as their campaign gets underway with many fancying the Azzurri to go a long way in the tournament.
“We must respect Turkey, they are a side full of talent,” he said.
“The opener is always difficult, and there will be plenty of emotions, but you can’t get too carried away.
“I don’t think there is an excess of enthusiasm. The fans can have that; we know who we are up against.
“The desire to be protagonists at this Euro is huge but this is a match to be played with lightheartedness. We can do it!”
Italy, however, are in ominously strong form heading into the tournament. They’ve won each of their last six matches, and will be hoping to kick off their Euro 2020 campaign with a seventh straight win tonight.
6:00pm: Good evening, and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the opening match of Euro 2020, as Turkey take on Italy in Rome.
Per the draw, Turkey are technically the “home” side, but it’s Italy who will be playing on home soil, with the match taking place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
We’ll bring you live updates throughout the night as we bring you the first night of 30 glorious days of top-level international football.