Head of State Giorgio Napolitano invited the Italy squad to an official function on Monday and wrote a letter thanking Cesare Prandelli for his efforts.
Whether they win or lose tonight’s Euro 2012 Final against Spain, the Azzurri will be welcomed home as heroes.
“Dear Prandelli, I wish to thank you for the warm words you had for me at the start of the tournament and – on behalf of the nation – for the splendid victory in Warsaw,” wrote the President.
“What I found most wonderful in all your performances at the Euros was how well the ‘old and new’ players gelled together, their team spirit, communal determination and generosity.
“It is impossible to pick favourites, as nobody pulled back from the effort and strain. Nobody failed to give their best. Having created that atmosphere and sealing that unity deserves credit.
“At the same time I very much appreciated the sober and serious tone of your comments. You were aware of the importance of results, without rhetoric or triumphalism, knowing how long you still have to travel. Isn’t this the discussion we should be having for Italy and its football team?
“I express my closeness and encouragement to all the lads for the Final. I was happy to be alongside you in Gdansk, when it meant overcoming the first hurdle, proving easy pessimism wrong, proving the team was ready and that the Azzurri would once again honour the name Italy.
“I will welcome you with great pleasure to the Quirinale on your return to Rome on Monday.”