Cesare Prandelli concedes he “expected more” from Italy’s victory in Malta, but is confident “this Nazionale is the future.”
The Azzurri have been revamped under this Coach, reaching the Euro 2012 Final and topping the World Cup qualifying group for 2014.
“In all honesty, I expected more,” he confessed of Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Malta.
“This situation has been happening for many years, as you lay down all the groundwork and then in the match itself the outcome is different. You lower the tempo, things don’t work, although Malta did twice change their approach.
“In those occasions we have to better at breaking down teams that are so closed up and especially speed up the pace of passing. It’s no paradox that Italy play better against Brazil than Malta, as if you have space then you can attack. If you don’t, you have to create it.”
Prandelli’s contract expires after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and he is in no rush to discuss an extension.
“I have not received any renewal proposal, but it is too early to talk about this. We are all concentrated on qualifying for Brazil 2014.
“After the Euros I admitted that I had thought about giving up. I don’t want to go back on that, but my desire is to face the World Cup in the best way possible.
“I’d like more involvement. Just look at Brazil, as the whole country will grind to a halt for a month during the Confederations Cup. Everyone cares about their national team, but in Italy we care a little bit less than the others.”
The Coach also explained why he has been so actively encouraging younger players in the senior squad like Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mattia De Sciglio.
“All over the country in every area of life, including politics, I see this desire for change and fresh air. For the last three years we have been doing our part by interpreting that desire, working with courage on the youth academies. The results are clear to see, as this Nazionale is the future,” noted Prandelli.
“I have to thank Massimiliano Allegri, who told me a year ago to follow De Sciglio as he was destined for greatness.
“I am impressed with the ebullience of Alessio Cerci, who always seeks the one-on-one with opponents, or the talent of Marco Verratti. Our future is here.
“I will not ‘steal’ any stars from the Under-21 side, as in June they are taking part in the European Championships. We’ll sit around a table and see how to divide up the most promising players. In fact, I think we’ll all train together at Coverciano.”
The European Under-21 Championships cross over with the Confederations Cup, so players like Verratti, El Shaarawy, Alessandro Florenzi and De Sciglio must decide which tournament to go for.