The former Sassuolo coach was named Shakhtar manager last week.
"I have no merits, I'm probably only the tip of the iceberg," De Zerbi told Corriere dello Sport. “During the championship, every time there was an international break, 13 or 14 players would leave.
“On Friday evening, there were also [Kaan] Ayhan, [Mert] Muldur and [Merih] Demiral for Turkey, also players who were previously linked with Sassuolo, such as [Francesco] Acerbi.
“But it was a great satisfaction to see Locatelli and Berardi so integrated and functional in Mancini's game.
“It's a team that has fun, that has its own identity, that has courage, that makes us proud to be Italian and has made people want to cheer for the national team again."