Italy underlined their potential with their performance in the Confederations Cup semi-final defeat to Spain, says Cesare Prandelli.
The Azzurri, using a 3-4-2-1 formation, impressed for long spells of their 0-0 draw which ultimately ended in a penalty shoot-out reverse.
“The Spain game has been a great test for us, there is no doubt about that, and we passed it despite the result,” the tactician stated.
“We proved that we have the quality to battle it out with the best. We were up to the task against Spain, we matched them stride for stride.
“We tried to play the ball on the ground and we showed great courage and willingness. Then anything can happen in a penalty shoot-out.”
The Italians looked particularly strong in the first half where they created numerous chances and nullified the threat of the Spanish.
“We were convinced about how we needed to play, in both technical and tactical terms, and I'm certain that we need to keep persevering.
“We played as we wanted to play. Today we showed Italy's soul. Our first half was great, but it was clear we couldn't keep up the same intensity.
“I have to congratulate my team. We earned respect. We’re able to compete with the best.”
Although happy with the display, Prandelli was again critical of the tournament’s schedule given the climatic conditions.
“Perhaps the whole formula of the competition should be reviewed in order to give teams a bit more time to recover, especially when you play in this heat.
“I’m not sure if we are even going to train before the match against Uruguay on Sunday. There is a long trip ahead of us and we have one day less than Uruguay to prepare for it.
“The World Cup next year? I can’t really answer questions about the World Cup right now. Clearly, we have to qualify first as we haven’t yet.
“We will leave this tournament knowing that we can have great results in the future.”