Cesare Prandelli has admitted his astonishment that Borja Valero has failed to make the Spain squad for their friendly.
Italy travel to Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon to face La Roja this evening, in a prestige friendly ahead of the World Cup.
And in a lengthy interview with Marca, the Coach has conceded that he can’t believe the Fiorentina man hasn’t made the squad.
“No offence to anyone, but Borja is one of the best midfielders we’ve seen in Italy for many years,” he told the Spanish paper.
“He is an extraordinary talent. If he was Italian, he’d always have a place in my team.
The tactician then commented on Giuseppe Rossi, Mario Balotelli and his favourites for this summer’s World Cup.
“We have to wait for Rossi because he gives us a lot of quality. I think Giuseppe is unique in the world when it comes to his role on the pitch.
“Mario is a fantastic lad. Yes, it’s true that we maybe haven’t seen the best of him, but we rarely do from players that young.
“I think under Seedorf’s guidance, Mario can complete his journey as a player. I have to say, I’ve never had a problem with him though.
“I think we [Italy] are not the best, but we can beat the best. I’m convinced of that. Spain, Germany, Brazil and Argentina, I’d say, are favourites for the World Cup.
“But then Uruguay, Colombia, Belgium, England and ourselves can cause problems.”
Conversation then moved on to ‘the Italian mentality’, Francesco Totti and Prandelli’s future.
“We all know what the Italian mentality is – victory comes above everything else. At the lower levels we have tried to promote the youngsters, and it’s something we have to keep doing.
“Having said that, we never close the door to anyone [including Totti and Cassano].
“We are an old-fashioned country. The future scares everyone, but I think we have to try and evolve, both in football and in life.
“Right now, I have not decided my future. After the match against Spain I will have a meeting, and clarify things.
“Going abroad would be interesting, but at the moment, I have had no offers.”