Friday, 29 June 2012

Prandelli: We are not afraid of Spain


Having gone desperately close to beating La Roja in their opening fixture in Group C, the Azzurri are relishing another crack at Vicente del Bosque's side

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli insists that playing reigning champions Spain in the final of Euro 2012 holds no fear for his troops.
La Roja is bidding to become the first side to win three successive international tournaments and many pundits believe that the current era of dominance owes much to its shoot-out success over the Azzurri in the quarterfinals of Euro 2008.

However, after recording a draw against Vicente del Bosque's side at the start of the current competition, Prandelli feels that just as Spain took its first step on the path to success against Italy, it could easily come to pass that the journey ends against the same opposition.

"We are not afraid of Spain," the 54-year-old told reporters at a press conference on Friday. "We will try to find their weakest point and work on them. 

"It won't be easy, it's their third final in a row and this means they have great qualities. But we have grown since the start of the tournament and now we really are a team. We were fantastic against Germany [in the semifinals]."

Prandelli is under contract for another two years and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete has already claimed that the former Fiorentina boss will continue until the 2014 World Cup.

However, the coach, who succeeded Marcello Lippi at the helm in 2010, has again indicated that he is seriously considering a return to the club game.

"I will think about my future after Euro 2012," he explained. "The last two months have been very tough."

Prandelli also indicated that not only does he miss working on the training pitch on a daily basis, he also misses the buzz of constant competition.

"It's true that nobody cares about the national team in certain moments," he mused. "We have brought millions of people in the street, but starting from September no one will think about Italy anymore."

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