Arrigo Sacchi has pointed out the contrast between Italy’s clubs in European competition and the national team, and hopes Euro 2012 is a good omen.
The Azzurri have this week begun preparations for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. As a competition he himself took the Azzurri to in 1994, Sacchi has reflected on where expectation should lie this time around.
“Ours is a strange country that has no memory,” began the 68-year-old to Parma Channel this week.
“I cannot predict the future - if Italy do well, [they would deserve respect] because you have to remember that our clubs in recent years have always been pushed out of European competition.
“Juventus this year reached the semi-finals of the Europa League, but after being eliminated from the Champions League.
“If that is the premise then there will be doubts, but at the same time two years ago, Italy were runners-up at the European Championships.
“There is something, therefore, that does not fit, and we hope that Prandelli’s boys can repeat their exploits from the European Championships.”
Sacchi, who was at a charity event attended by Parma’s Tommaso Ghirardi, Pietro Leonardi and Roberto Donadoni, was asked of the Ducali’s success this season, which saw them secure sixth spot in Serie A.
“I congratulate them on the game they have demonstrated in their season - I have liked Parma and what they accomplished has been deserved for the passion of the President, the ability of [sporting director] Leonardi and the staff, and the skill of the players and Donadoni.
“In particular, however, sixth place is deserved for Parma’s fans, who have a unique upbringing, love and sincerity.”