Italy legend Roberto Baggio praised Cesare Prandelli for his “great work” ahead of the Confederations Cup.
“I think Prandelli is doing great work,” he said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, where he will help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the J. League.
“In the Confederations Cup he will have the opportunity to test himself against the teams who’ll be contenders at the World Cup, so it’s a good chance to gain experience.
“He will be taking on three difficult teams. Brazil, obviously, Mexico and Japan. Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup and recently won the Asian Cup, so we mustn’t underestimate them.
“I’ve been following what Zaccheroni has been doing, and I’ve been very impressed. But I’m supporting the Japan team rather than just Zaccheroni, and I wish them all the best of luck.”
The Divine Ponytail also revealed he turned down an opportunity to play in the Far East ahead of the 2002 World Cup, though he was eventually snubbed by Giovanni Trapattoni.
“In 2000 I had an offer to come to the J. League. At the time I decided against it, because my aim was to get into the Italian national team to come to Japan and South Korea and play in my fourth World Cup.
“I wanted that to be the time that I played in Japan, but looking back now maybe I should have taken the offer.”