Wednesday June 18 2014
Del Piero: Don’t pressure Italy

Alessandro Del Piero is encouraged by Italy’s start to the World Cup, but warns against placing expectation on the squad.

The Azzurri won their opening Group D clash with England last weekend and head into Friday’s meeting with Costa Rica aware that the right result could guarantee them progression to the Round of 16 with a game to spare.

For one of their 2006 World Cup-winning party, the early signs are positive, but should not allow for players to become distracted.

“Italy at the World Cup have made a good impression for their determination, play and personality,” Del Piero has told reporters today.

“It is too early to say if they will reach the final four. My hope is that they reach the final, but now we must not put too much pressure on the team and Prandelli, they must be able to work in peace and remain calm.

“This seems like a good World Cup, there have been a lot of goals scored in the first few games, the favourites have almost all started well and this is a good omen.

“Prandelli does not need my advice, so far he has always done well and now has transmitted with the group the right spirit world wide.

“Buffon, Pirlo, De Rossi and Barzagli, having won the 2006 World Cup, are the emblems of this national team.

“Now there is the game with Costa Rica, which will be a very important test.”