Saturday June 30 2012
Mazzarri: 'Prandelli's triumph'

Walter Mazzarri says Italy reaching the Euro 2012 Final is “a victory for Cesare Prandelli” and admits he’d like to work with Giorgio Chiellini again.

The Azzurri overcame poor expectations before the tournament to face Spain in Kiev on Sunday.

“This Italy side is a victory for Prandelli,” Napoli Coach Mazzarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“If I were him, I’d stay on the bench. He is achieving great things and it is only right that he continues.

“I am excited by what this Nazionale is doing. They play positive football, the way I like it, managing to combine good play with results. That’s the most you can ask for.

“This is a victory of the team. Prandelli has done exceptional work, giving an identity and a soul to this side.

“The Final stars 50-50, as this Nazionale can get a result against anyone.”

Mazzarri was also impressed by the way Mario Balotelli has performed and behaved in this tournament.

“He is such a strong player and is proving that, but we must be careful. Balotelli is still going through the process of maturation.

“We can wait for him to show consistency in his performances. Balotelli is one of the stars of this squad, but as part of a mosaic rather than standing separately from the rest.”

Chiellini has played as centre-back in a three-man defence, a four and as left-back in the competition despite struggling with thigh injuries.

“If I had to choose a player from this Italy squad to work with, it’d be Chiellini, as he is a lad who started out with me at Livorno.

“Giorgio is a force of nature, a universal player that any Coach would want in his team.”