Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli has told calcio and the Nazionale to “win back the people” after the second Marcello Lippi era.
“We have to put ourselves forward in the right way and win back the people rather than create a distance between us,” he told Italpress.
“We represent Italy and everyone should identify themselves in the Azzurri shirt. Both in Florence and Genoa we sensed a real warmth from the fans.”
Even before the dismal 2010 World Cup campaign, Lippi's second stint on the Italy bench had created a certain unpopularity around the side.
“We asked ourselves why this happened,” continued Prandelli. “I try to transmit my philosophy, which is that we can achieve results with entertaining football.
“This sport goes through phases. At times the super-organised sides win, at others those full of talent and in yet more those without any creativity at all.
“I therefore think it is right to give my squad a mixture: being organised and giving the quality players the opportunity to express themselves, as they are the ones who can make the difference.”
Gianluigi Buffon has been injured since the World Cup in South Africa and therefore unable to play under Prandelli.
Meanwhile, Juventus shot-stopper Marco Storari publicly moaned that he hadn't been selected for international duty.
“I would've liked him in the squad because, aside from his technical qualities, Buffon is among the few players who really bring character to the locker room.
“As for the rest, there are three goalkeepers who are doing very well: Storari, Stefano Sorrentino and Morgan De Sanctis.
“All three would deserve a call-up, but the three I have chosen, Antonio Mirante, Salvatore Sirigu and Emiliano Viviano, are the right age to be with us for longer.
“In any case, Storari's comments did not irritate me at all. Those who put themselves forward for consideration can generally handle the tension of the big stage.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!