Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli says he’ll be “Italy’s biggest fan” if they progress, but that won’t stop him trying to eliminate them tomorrow.
The Azzurri must beat the Republic of Ireland on Monday evening and hope Spain-Croatia doesn’t end in a 2-2 draw if they are to reach the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
“If they were to progress, I’d become Italy’s biggest fan,” Tardelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I am a friend of Cesare Prandelli and of course I am also Italian. However, nobody should expect any favours from us.
“Of course if Ireland beat Italy I’d celebrate, why wouldn’t I? Maybe a few minutes later I’d feel bad about the Azzurri, but a sportsman must always celebrate a victory.”
Tardelli is assistant manager to former Italy Coach Giovanni Trapattoni on the Ireland bench.