Morgan De Sanctis made his first Italy cap since June 2011 and revealed how he prepared to take on Denmark after Gigi Buffon’s injury.
“This morning after a fitness test Gigi clearly said he didn’t feel in condition to play, so I was told by the goalkeeping coach and then Prandelli that I would play.
“It was not a sudden choice, so in that sense I was able to prepare technically, tactically and mentally for the match. That helped me a great deal.”
However, De Sanctis also had to deal with a terrible Giorgio Chiellini backpass in the opening minutes of their 3-1 victory.
“I really wasn’t ready for that! Chiellini didn’t exactly help me feel at home!” he laughed.
Much was made of the fact De Sanctis played rather than Buffon just days before the Scudetto showdown between Napoli and Juventus.
“Last night I spoke with the media and in all honesty I know you do your job, but perhaps there is a little too much focus on Serie A rather than the Nazionale. These are important matches, so was the one in Armenia, so if we want to pack the town squares in the summer then we need to acknowledge that.
“When fans stop us in the street, they tend to shout about clubs and not Italy. The Azzurri jersey is to be respected and considered an honour. I have a sort of internal software block until midnight stopping me from talking about the upcoming Serie A game, so don’t even ask!
“In the last year and a half I have been a part of this squad and realised on the field that despite the difficulties this team continued playing the ball and that meant we ran few risks.”
Denmark’s danger man was Nicklas Bendtner, who has played only 10 minutes of Serie A football with Juventus.
“It’s not easy to work between Barzagli and Chiellini. Denmark used a lot of play down the flanks, so that ought to allow Bendtner to make the most of his power in the air. He committed a lot of fouls, but Barzagli and Chiellini really limited him tonight.”
Italy are now four points clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group B after the Czech Republic drew 0-0 with Bulgaria this evening.
“The results are really helping us, but we do have to focus on ourselves and obviously will gladly take the advantages from the other games.”