Antonio Candreva believes Italy “can challenge anyone” at the 2014 World Cup and reveals his Ballon d’Or tips.
The Lazio midfielder is expected to be one of the final 23 going to Brazil for the tournament next summer.
To warm up, they earned a 1-1 draw with Germany  last night and face Nigeria in London on Monday.
“We proved that we can challenge anyone,” said Candreva in his Press conference.
“This performance was a boost for us after the draws with Denmark and Armenia. Germany are not superior to us, but they are strong and can reach the World Cup Final. Of course there are things to improve, but that’s what friendlies are for.
“Where Germany have the advantage is their players are young, yet experienced. Their clubs are more prone to throwing them into the mix than our teams are.
“I thank the Coach for his compliments, as he praised everyone after the game with Germany. However, I am still not certain that I’ll be part of the expedition to Brazil.
“There are another six months to go and many games to be played at the top level.”
In Candreva’s case, this includes Serie A, the Coppa Italia and Europa League with Lazio.
“We’re not going through a great moment, but I think the problem may well be in our approach and concentration. We often do well during the week, but come match day we’re not up to the situation.”
The midfielder was asked who he would give the Ballon d’Or to and had some different considerations.
“Andrea Pirlo would deserve it, because he’s the only midfielder in the world capable of uniting consistent performances with victories. He is a great champion and a reference point for us.
“Personally, I’d put them in this order: Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, Pirlo and Franck Ribery.”
Betting on Serie A? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more