Cesare Prandelli praised Argentina’s quality, Lorenzo Insigne’s character and Daniele De Rossi’s centre-back role.
Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega scored before a fantastic Insigne curler sealed Argentina’s 2-1 friendly victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
“We met a team of great quality, one of the best in the world,” Prandelli told RAI Sport.
“We made mistakes coming out of defence and started badly, but in my view we moved the ball well. We lacked that grit and finish around the box that a team needs. Honour to Argentina, as they are a very strong side.”
De Rossi was used as a centre-back in the four-man and three-man defence, while Marco Verratti took Andrea Pirlo’s place.
“We have to qualify before talking about the World Cup and I want to get there quickly. The experiment with De Rossi, if we want to call it that, went pretty well.
“Missing certain key players we were forced to make different choices in our passing and approach play.
“The Under-21 players made the difference at that level, but it will take time for them to make the difference here too. They have the quality, but need to grow up. Insigne does have that something more in terms of character.”
This game was organised in honour of Pope Francis and the two teams visited in the Vatican on Tuesday.
“We all wanted this friendly and I am happy because we saw so many children and families in the stadium. It was not easy to bring 40,000 people to the stadium on August 14, so it means the message was received.”
August 15 is national holiday Ferragosto, so most people leave the cities for a vacation.