Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete has backed the selections of Coach Cesare Prandelli and insisted that the tactician will stay beyond Euro 2012.
Prandelli named a 32-man preliminary squad for the European Championship on Sunday in which he called up numerous youngsters.
“Prandelli’s decision to put his faith in younger players is right,” Abete told Radio Anchi’Io Lo Sport. “We are in the middle of a difficult generation shift.
“There are a lot of champions who are leaving their club or the sport, but there are no alternatives – time passes for everybody and we need to look forward.
“Players like Alessandro Del Piero, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso have given a lot to this sport, but now is the time to build something new.
“You can understand Prandelli’s thinking and this is a time when he may have to make unpopular decisions.”
Prandelli took the job after World Cup 2010 disaster when he signed a four-year deal, but there are whispers suggesting he may be set for a return to club football.
“Cesare is the future of this national side,” Abete added. “The Federation is unaware of any interest in him from clubs.
“We want to continue the four-year project.”
“I expect a big effort from the squad,” Abete continued. “I am also waiting for us to be competitive against the sides who are ranked higher than us right now.
“Prandelli is hopeful and optimistic that he can carry forward the project with positive results.”