Sunday July 1 2012
Prandelli: 'In love with Italy'

Cesare Prandelli reveals he always hoped Italy would reach the Euro 2012 Final against Spain and his main target was “to make people fall in love with the Azzurri again.”

The trophy will be decided this evening in Kiev and the Nazionale have impressed above all for their entertaining football.

“We believed that we would reach this Final from the start of the tournament. Now we are here and want to play it right to the end with our usual courage,” he told Rai Sport this afternoon.

“One of my objectives when we began two years ago was also to make people fall in love with the Azzurri again.

“We aimed to do that with our attitude, behaviour and also the performances on the field, bringing in more quality and seeking better football. I think we achieved that and I’m very happy about it.”

The Coach also introduced a code of ethics, dropping players who were suspended for violent conduct or dissent at club level, and the squad will give its tournament bonuses to the earthquake victims in Emilia-Romagna.

“Spain are certainly the favourites, though, as they have a much more consolidated style of football that has been perfected over a period of several years. We are trying to get closer to them in that journey, though we are still a work in progress.

“We will certainly try our best and owe that to our fans. The Spanish will continue to be the favourites for tournaments in future too, as the average age of the squad is still low.”

Prandelli has won over supporters and media with his attacking approach and rotating diamond midfield, but laughs off comparisons with Arrigo Sacchi.

“I didn’t invent anything in football. Many Coaches push forward their ideas right from the youth academies, but then the pressure and need for results prompts a change.

“With Italy I just wanted to activate the quality that my players have. I hope our experience can help Italian club sides realise they need more courage in Europe next season.”