Wednesday June 6 2012
De Sanctis backs 3-5-2 Italy

Morgan De Sanctis agrees that Italy should switch to Napoli’s 3-5-2 system, but warns against “underestimating” their Group C opponents.

The Azzurri begin their Euro 2012 adventure on Sunday afternoon against Spain, then face Croatia and the Republic of Ireland.

“Just remember what happened in South Africa,” he said, referring to the first round exit in the 2010 World Cup.

“People said then that we had beatable opponents, but we all remember how that turned out. We won’t make the same mistake this time round.

“For the moment we will focus on Spain, which is a match against a very important team. Then Croatia and Ireland will be discussed when the time comes.”

Italy are struggling for confidence after a 3-0 friendly defeat to Russia last week, which saw substitute goalkeeper De Sanctis make a couple of howlers.

Coach Cesare Prandelli has reacted to the loss by testing out a 3-5-2 system in training, similar to that used this season by Napoli, Juventus and Udinese.

“That was an off day, but we are learning from it and realise we must have more balance in the side. Many players in this squad have experience of a three-man defence and this can help us.”

The Italy squad paid tribute to those who died in the Holocaust when visiting Auschwitz this morning. Naturally, this also raised the issue of racist and anti-Semitic abuse in the stands.

“We can only hope something like that never happens again,” said De Sanctis. “After this visit we pledge to conserve the memory of these atrocities and hand it down to future generations so they can fight discrimination of any kind. The most moving moment was listening to those who survived in the camp.

“I hope nobody is forced to leave the field in protest. There are chants against Mario Balotelli, but sometimes players are not jeered just because of the colour of their skin, but rather as they are disliked by certain supporters. It happens to me and my other teammates too.”