Cesare Prandelli denies accusations of ‘escaping Italy’ after the World Cup, and warns Antonio Conte of the difficulties in coaching the national team.
The 56-year-old resigned his position as CT following the Azzurri’s short-lived 2014 campaign in Brazil and within weeks found himself signing a two-year deal to take over at Galatasaray.
Considering the backlash from the peninsula he has faced on this, the Coach has today defended his reputation.
“In recent days I have been reflecting much and I was reminded that in the life of a professional there are ups and downs, but these are the highs and lows of the privileged,” Prandelli has told today’s edition of the Corriere della Sera.
“The attacks that have been made against me have been cruel, but I do not have to feel like a victim.
“From one to 10, the stress for the World Cup adventure was more than 10. I’m not talking about professional stress, and there was some harsh criticism.
“But when I read and hear some personal attacks…I was hurt most by accusations of escaping. The idea that I had escaped. That’s not true.
“I have demonstrated that in my life, personally and professionally. The success at Parma, after the bankruptcy of Parmalat, many escaped and I remained and my squad achieved fifth place.
“It happened in Florence, I did not escape. I was in my position alone, with executives indicted in Calciopoli, and despite this, without penalty, we would have finished second in the League.
“I was close to Juventus twice, but I am proud of the choice I made to stay in Florence. I believe in that sporting project.”
“There was no time to explain all this and then formalise the move to Turkey. They called me from Galatasaray, then called back. ‘We are a big club. We have put on stand-by eight Coaches for you’.
“And then the field. I had a physical need to put on my shoes and return to the field. When you call off a bicycle you must get back on it immediately.
“The people who love me saw me in a comatose state. I owed it to them. I’m going to do my job. It’s a challenge, I will have to get back into the game.
“The national team is still afloat and will recover. The players can redeem themselves, but my time with the Azzurri has gone.”
Antonio Conte has been linked with replacing Prandelli in the post.
“Conte? He once said that losing is like dying. Yes, I believe that today he experiences stress towards winning.
“If he becomes the new Italian Coach he would find it difficult to pass on that same motivation as he managed to do so daily at Juventus. The national CT has no time.
“You can compensate, in part, if you have a block of players from one team. But these are issues that Conte will face, if he is selected.”