Cesare Prandelli admits the Italy job came ‘too early’ in his career and that Fiorentina denied him the chance to take over Juventus.
Prandelli established Fiorentina as a Serie A force between 2005 and 2010, qualifying them for the Champions League, before guiding Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.
However, the Genoa boss claims he could have preceded Antonio Conte at Juve, had the Viola not ‘married him off’ to the Azzurri.
“Juve? True, there was the possibility but never mind…” the 61-year-old told Tuttosport.
“The Fiorentina directors told me I was free to talk to anyone. Then one morning I opened a newspaper and read a scathing attack on this thing.
“Incredible: they gave me the go-ahead! Then I answered: well, I’m ready to sign for five years with Fiorentina. And they ‘married me off’ to the national team…
“Just to be clear, I had another year left on my contract with Fiorentina. I left, leaving that contract on the table, without demanding anything, not even a golden handshake, despite them being in a hurry to close with Mihajlovic.
“Did Italy come too early? You’re right. I thought about that, yes. I think it came a little too early.
“But there were two things that pushed me. First, my love for the national team. If Italy call you, how can you say ‘no’?
“Then there was the statement from Fiorentina, who said ‘we’ve married him off to the national team.’
“They said that: we married him off... Although I still had a contract with them, it seemed clear to me what they wanted.”