Saturday June 16 2012
Barzagli: 'I'm ready for Ireland'

Andrea Barzagli is ready to make his Euro 2012 debut against Ireland and criticised the media for focusing on a potential 2-2 draw between Spain and Croatia.

The defender was almost ruled out of the competition entirely by a calf strain, but has now recovered and could feature in Monday’s final Group C match.

“I am ready and Cesare Prandelli will make the decision. It makes little difference to me whether I am to the right or the left of Daniele De Rossi in the three-man defence,” said the Juventus man.

Most of the coverage on Italy’s chances of qualification have focused on the possible 2-2 draw between Spain and Croatia, a result that would send both those teams through.

“It is a complicated issue and it would’ve been better if we hadn’t talked about it,” noted Barzagli.

“I do not put anyone’s motivation in doubt and it comes normal to me to think the reigning champions Spain would never consider playing for a draw. The same goes for the Croatians.

“It is a mistake to even think about these things. In fact, I say it’s a problem stirred up by the media, because within the squad very few – probably nobody – believes this.

“It’s true that it has already happened in football, but we are not thinking about this possibility. We only want to win our game.”

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