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Sunday June 16 2013
Prandelli: 'Pirlo is Italy guru'

Cesare Prandelli revealed Andrea Pirlo was asked to skip the Confederations Cup, while Stephan El Shaarawy is “frazzled” ahead of Mexico.

The Italy Coach spoke to Rai Sport just hours before their tournament opener against Mexico at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) in Rio de Janeiro.

“Are we using a prudent tactical system today? Not necessarily, because there are players able to attack the space and create a situation of superiority, basically adding an extra forward. For example, Emanuele Giaccherini is very good at that.”

The 4-3-3 system was a failure against Haiti, so Prandelli turns to a 4-3-2-1 with Giaccherini and Claudio Marchisio supporting Mario Balotelli.

“It’s not that the 4-3-3 was scrapped, but rather in a tournament with so many strong sides it can be useful to surprise our opponents. As for the 2-2 draw with Haiti, I’d talk about mental fatigue rather than purely physical.”

Some veterans keep pumping out the performances regardless and tonight Pirlo will celebrate his 100th Italy cap.

“Pirlo had been asked to stay home and rest for this tournament, but he showed great professionalism and just how much he cares about the Azzurri jersey. He is the guru of this Nazionale.”

Others are just starting out and Prandelli admits Milan’s 20-year-old El Shaarawy is feeling the pressure.

“I see him a little frazzled. Evidently all the transfer rumours are getting to him. In any case, he just needs to recharge his batteries and he’ll be back on the field soon.”

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