AZZURRI

Marco Verratti enjoyed his first senior Italy start and is “proud” to be called an understudy to Andrea Pirlo.
Riccardo Montolivo praised Italy and Milan teammate Stephan El Shaarawy after his debut goal, but also told him off.
Stephan El Shaarawy was overjoyed with his first senior Italy goal and “hopes” he and Mario Balotelli can be the pairing of the future.
Cesare Prandelli insists Italy “didn’t deserve to lose” against France, but saw it as a valuable experiment.
Stephan El Shaarawy’s first goal for Italy was not enough, as France fought back to win 2-1 in Parma and the Azzurri hit the crossbar twice.
Italy look to Marco Verratti, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli for tonight’s friendly test against France.
FIGC President Ignazio Abete sees tonight’s friendly against France as a good test for Italy “and Marco Verratti.”
There are reports that Fiorentina’s Argentine defender Facundo Roncaglia could receive a call-up from Italy boss Cesare Prandelli.
Italy may be starting tonight’s friendly against France with youngsters Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and Marco Verratti, but Arrigo Sacchi isn’t overly impressed.
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has told Mario Balotelli that he now needs to turn potential into reality.
Napoli’s Paolo Cannavaro says he’s not bothered about continually being ignored by Italy boss Cesare Prandelli.
History favours Italy in their ties with France as the two nations meet in a glamour friendly at Parma this evening.
Hear the thoughts of Cesare Prandelli and Didier Deschamps as Italy take on France in Parma this evening.
It is only a matter of time before Andrea Consigli becomes a regular in the Giro Azzurro, says Atalanta teammate Guglielmo Stendardo.
Antonio Candreva is convinced that Italy’s attacking trident can deliver results in tonight’s friendly against France.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti says that he and Andrea Pirlo could co-exist in the same Italian national side.
The agent of Emanuele Giaccherini has defended his inclusion in the Italy squad despite a lack of playing time at Juventus. “Daniele De Rossi probably wouldn’t get a game there…”
Stephan El Shaarawy is looking forward to partnering Mario Balotelli against France tomorrow. “Now I have to prove my quality.”
Giorgio Chiellini is one of the few old hands starting tomorrow’s Italy-France friendly. “It’ll be weird without Gigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo.”
Marco Materazzi was surprisingly nice about Zinedine Zidane, but blasted Rafa Benitez. “He thought he knew everything, but was afraid of his own shadow.”
Devis Mangia praised Italy’s second half performance in difficult circumstances, but acknowledged Spain were ruthless with any mistakes.
Italy’s Under-21 side paid the price for defensive errors, but dominated the second half and were denied by a goalline clearance in their 3-1 friendly defeat to Spain.
France manager Didier Deschamps is “happy to be back in Italy” for tomorrow’s international friendly against the Azzurri.
Cesare Prandelli has named his starting XI for Italy’s friendly with France, a 4-3-3 including Marco Verratti, Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.
Parma boss Roberto Donadoni believes that Mario Balotelli could go on to be the best player in the world.