FIGC President Giancarlo Abete pointed out that Giovanni Trapattoni “brought us back to the essential elements – you need to be efficient.”
The media in Italy went wild after the 3-0 victory over Estonia last week, comparing Cesare Prandelli's men to Barcelona or Spain, but they were beaten 2-0 by the Republic of Ireland in tonight's friendly.
“Trapattoni brought us back to the essential elements – you need to score in football and be efficient,” said Abete.
“Due to the affection we have for Trapattoni, we are happier to lose against him in a friendly than anywhere else.
“In all honesty, when going 1-0 down we did assume we'd get back into it, but time went on and it didn't happen.
“Italy tried to play the way they had in recent matches with entertaining and well-worked football, but were not as sharp or incisive as before. These things happen.
“We tried to walk the ball into the net and did not manage it. During qualifying we conceded only one goal, then let in two tonight, so this slap will keep us awake and help the team to go forward.”
The level of motivation and concentration was visibly different from Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier.
“We all thought the enthusiasm and technique of recent games could bring us towards victory, but perhaps all the changes and the friendly atmosphere made us assume too much.
“We've had worse upsets, so let us now prepare for the August friendly against Spain and the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
“The World Cup in South Africa was traumatic, but the past year has been very positive under Prandelli in terms of spirit, results and quality of football.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.