Friday June 6 2014
‘Long live Mourinho!’

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli has reacted with caution to Jose Mourinho’s prediction that his team will reach the World Cup final.

The former Inter boss believes the Azzurri’s pedigree in straight knockout matches will be a key factor in enabling them to have a good tournament in Brazil.

Speaking at a Press conference today, Prandelli however insisted that his full focus remains on ensuring his side make it out of a difficult Group D that also includes England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

“Long live Mourinho!” he joked. “Our first target is to get through to the next round.”

The 56-year-old then spoke of how his 23-man squad could take inspiration from Italy’s first ever World Cup winning contingent, the class of 1934.

“We need to study our own history more. It would show us that for more or less a century this national team has been a protagonist.

“The image that we have [of 1934] is of players who went out onto the pitch to enjoy themselves, playing football that was healthy and good to watch.”