Daniele De Rossi hailed fellow midfielder Marco Verratti and enthused about Italy's promising young squad as they eased to another World Cup qualifying win over Albania.
Roma star De Rossi opened the scoring from the penalty spot, with Ciro Immobile making sure of the points in the second half of a 2-0 triumph, which left them level at the top of Group G with Spain.
Having been paired with Verratti in Palermo, De Rossi spoke of his "pleasure" to play alongside the Paris Saint-Germain star and how Italy are progressing under Giampiero Ventura.
"We're already realising there is a great squad forming here and [the young players have] already fused with the veterans," De Rossi told Rai Sport.
"They've got a great sense of responsibility and realise what it means to represent Italy. It's a very positive atmosphere.
"I've always got along well with Marco Verratti. It's easy to play with good team-mates who know when it is the right moment to keep the ball and when to pass it, so we're talking about one of the best. It's a pleasure to play with Verratti."
110 - Marco made the most touches (110), the most tackles (6) and the most recoveries (8) in the match Italy vs Albania. King.March 24, 2017
Verratti, meanwhile, said he is still adapting to Ventura's style of play – the Italy coach having taken over after Euro 2016.
"It was a good overall team performance," he added. "I have a very different style of football to Andrea Pirlo and it is also a different style to the one at Paris Saint-Germain, so soon I'll better understand what the coach wants from me."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to TO_UPDATE_FROM_FLEXI_UI. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.