Italy Head Coach Prandelli: “Conte is right. Excessive climate in Italy”

PRANDELLI-BUFFON-PIRLOThe Azzurri coach: “Antonio is right to speak out against the extreme reactions, provocation and violence. These things also make you consider a change of atmosphere. Totti? If he’s playing like this a month before the World Cup…” Pirlo: “Brazil are a great team, but so are we”

A not-so-friendly friendly against Brazil in Geneva on Thursday, then the challenge for three points in Malta on Tuesday 26 March. The national team has a full plate, but Prandelli is keeping focused. “We need to face these two games as if they were both qualifiers. It would be wrong to think only of Brazil, despite it being a match that doesn’t need any special preparation. Forgetting about Malta is a mistake we cannot make.”

Cerci – He began with Cerci. “He’s been more consistent in his performances in recent years. He’s fast, technical, and knows how to connect with the forwards. Ventura has been able to give him extraordinary motivation, and calling him up allows us to consider a future with two external attackers. It’s a path we can evaluate. But I want to clarify that I’m not dismissing the quality of our midfield, nor forgetting how much it has done so far.”

Balotelli and El Shaarawy In Prandelli’s ideas Mario is the centre forward, with his Rossoneri team-mate to the left of him. “Balotelli is taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity he’s been given. He needed to play, and perhaps he’s training better when it comes to the details of his role with AC Milan and the national team. He’s very motivated, and remains focused for long stretches in the game. Is he incompatible with El Shaarawy? No, they’re forwards that work in different areas and complement each other. They’re very young and will give us a lot.”

The Conte case — Regarding the current climate in Italy that the Juve coach spoke out against after the match in Bologna, Prandelli admitted: “Antonio is right in speaking out against a climate that I don’t care for either. It’s marked by exaggerated reactions, provocation and violence. I’m not speaking about that case specifically, but in general. These things also make you consider a change of atmosphere so you can work with dignity. My colleagues based abroad tell me that these things don’t exist there. It’s embarrassing to always have to respond to questions that have nothing to do with the pitch. It can wear you down. It’s up to all of us to try and make things change, discussing things and setting a good example. Exaggerated celebrations? I’m also speaking in general on this; there’s a fine line between celebration and a lack of respect, and that shouldn’t be exceeded. Could I work abroad in the future? When considering it calmly it could be an important step for me.”

Groups — Eight players from Juventus, five from AC Milan. “With such a short amount of time, it’s something that could be an advantage for team spirit. But the players are called up on merit. I don’t see better players than the ones I have here.”

Scudetto — “Knowing the Juventus spirit, they’ll run until the last minute. Obviously Juve have a tremendous advantage in the standings now.”

Regaining possession — A topic the coach touched on several times. “It’s the main difference between teams like Barcelona or Spain and our own football. We need to be more adventurous in pressing higher up the pitch and not getting caught on the counter. Juve are better than most at doing that. In any case we’re starting to close the gap.”

Totti and the World Cup — “[Former AS Roma coach Carlo] Mazzone is right about Francesco,” Prandelli continued when asked about the Roma captain. “The problem is not the present. If a month before the World Cup he’s in the form he is now, physically and mentally, then we’d have to consider him. As we did with Di Natale before the Euros, even though you didn’t believe me. Cassano? The same goes for him. He was exceptional against Tottenham.”

New Shirts — Before the press conference, the Italy coach was handed the Azzurri’s new Puma shirt that will be worn for the first time on Thursday against Brazil. After that it will only be used at the Confederations Cup.

Buffon and Pirlo — After posing with the new shirts, the Italy captain and vice-captain gave their thoughts on the Brazil game. “We haven’t performed well when we’ve met them in recent years,” Buffon admitted. “It will be an important test and provide us with answers about ourselves, helping us to grow.” Pirlo added: “It’s great to be able to play these games. There’s no such thing as a friendly when you play for Italy. They’re a great team, but so are we.”


Sources: ANSA, Gazzetta dello Sport


4 thoughts on “Italy Head Coach Prandelli: “Conte is right. Excessive climate in Italy”

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  4. Pingback: Piola and Totti: divided by a club rivalry, brought together by goals | theitalianist

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