As Euro 2012 kicks off, former Italy boss Roberto Donadoni has looked back to his side’s 2008 elimination by Spain
Poland and Greece will start the proceedings later today, while the Azzurri will begin their tournament against the Spanish – the side who beat them on penalties at the last eight stage four years ago.
“Spain were not that much better than Italy on that day, the rest is a case of ifs and buts,” Donadoni, now in charge of Parma, told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“That defeat saddens me because I then couldn’t continue my rejuvenation of the 2006 World Cup wining squad.
“Was Euro 2008 a failure? Then what was the 2010 World Cup – a catastrophe?”
Donadoni was replaced by Marcello Lippi in the summer of 2008 and the latter was axed in favour of Prandelli after Italy failed to get out of their World Cup group.
“I like the idea of Prandelli’s football and not because playing in a Spanish way is in vogue,” the former winger added.
“My project was targeted towards something similar, but I didn’t have the time to see it through.”
Spain will start the tournament as favourites to win their third major tournament in a row, but the pressure of being highly fancied could be a handicap.
“In four years some things can be regenerated and some things might be lost,” Donadoni continued.
“Today they are a team with more knowledge and experience, but they also have more responsibility. They have advantages, but are also carrying more weight psychologically.”