Italy boss Cesare Prandelli is proud of what his team were able to achieve at Euro 2012 – but he has demanded changes if his side are to win a major trophy.
Prandelli has won plaudits for the way he has transformed the national side’s playing style since World Cup 2010 disaster under Marcello Lippi, yet he insists even more can be done to ensure Italy remain a footballing force.
“Football can be used as a vehicle for change,” he stated on Monday after last night’s 4-0 Final defeat to Spain.
“We are an old country, with old ideas and we must have the courage to change. We came to the tournament with a desire to change and we need the strength to believe. Although it is difficult, we have to bind the way we play with results.
“We have constructed a national team with the mentality of a club team. But we are perhaps still not ready to win a European Championship. But when we are we will win and then win again.”
Prandelli has made no secret of the fact that he is unhappy with the lack of support he gets from club sides and the Lega Calcio.
The tactician had wanted to hold numerous training sessions during the season so he could keep a close eye on possible internationals. Clubs refused to release their personnel.
“When there is an idea, there is a desire to start on a path and a technical project,” Prandelli added as he underlined the need to develop youngsters and allow them to emerge.
“We have to try to find players who have the potential to take over from people like Andrea Pirlo, even if I hope the latter plays on for two more years.
“Alongside him, we need a player who in two years will be ready, but if that player doesn’t play European football then how can he grow?
“We want to work with these players and see how they are progressing at two month intervals.
“If I only have three training sessions every eight months then I’m not sure that I will be good enough. I’m a Coach who works on the field of play.
“The ‘stages’ were a way of looking to get the best out of what clubs were doing, a chance for us to verify how young players are progressing and to create a movement. It would create interaction.
“We need to revolutionise the Italian football movement. We faced a national side in Spain who have worked consistently on a project for years.”
This lack of support was being cited as a possible reason why the Coach is understood to have considered his future – despite still having two years to run on his contract.
“I’ve decided to stay because I can see that the Federation, like me, want to change things. I am convinced that there is a desire for us to follow the path we want to take.
“However, we play England on August 15 and there is the Italian Super Cup on August 12. Where will that be played? Beijing…
“There has to be some sensibility when it comes to the national side. Nobody cares about the national side outside of competitions where everybody becomes patriotic…”
Prandelli has also been unhappy with some of the Press coverage on the eve and during Euro 2012, but he was welcomed to this morning’s conference with a round of applause.
“Before coming here, there were some ugly thoughts. But you applauded me, with honesty, and I never thought I’d be thanking you,” he told the gathered Press.
“Outside of opinions, there is a need for human respect. Using criticism as a violent tool is hard to accept and my state of mind over the last few weeks was because of this violent criticism.
“We can be and must be proud of this Italy, satisfied with the team. I have an idea of how football should be played and your applause demonstrates that you believe in it too.”
The former Fiorentina man also defended his decision to include a family member for his Euro 2012 adventure.
“When I revealed my call-ups, a lot of people commented on the fact that I included my son in the set-up,” the CT underlined.
“He’s a professional, I needed someone to integrate with my staff and the players understood this too. What was said made me unhappy, very unhappy.
“I can accept sporting criticism, but I can’t accept the criticism of a person.”