Cesare Prandelli hails Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, having worked with him for six years, ahead of Italy's friendly on Tuesday.
“Trapattoni is a very special person for me and in many aspects beyond reach,” said the Azzurri boss. The game will be played on neutral turf in the Belgian city of Liege.
“In our six years together at Juventus, I learned so much from him in terms of football and also humanity. What he taught me has been very useful during my management career.”
Prandelli is still buzzing after the 3-0 victory over Estonia, which put Italy five points clear at the top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group, but above all for the performance that earned comparisons with Spain and Barcelona.
“I will ask my team to continue along the path of recent games, especially as we are facing a side that is in good form recently. I will analyse the match on a collective level, but there will also be tests for individual players.
“Clearly if we had a player like Leo Messi then we'd all be happy, but we don't. For this reason we have to make up the difference with organisation. We've got to work hard on this aspect, at the same time trying to help our younger players grow.”
Antonio Cassano scored in the Estonia victory, but will be on the bench amid vast changes against Ireland.
“I want to see if the team can maintain the same mentality and tactics with Giampaolo Pazzini on from the start,” continued Prandelli.
“The lads have to first of all maintain possession, then seek a through ball. It would be embarrassing to always punt long balls for Pazzini.”
The Coach also surprisingly left the door open for veterans of Italian football ahead of Euro 2012.
“If from February I saw Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero in the kind of form they had a few months ago, then I would certainly consider them.”