Thursday August 16 2012
Nocerino believes in evolving Italy

Antonio Nocerino felt like an “old man” in the new-look Italy side that fell to England. “We have a great future ahead of us, but also a great present.”

The Milan midfielder was one of the few veterans in the line-up that lost 2-1 in Berne last night.

“I liked the way Italy played, as we moved the ball around well with character and created many chances,” he stated.

“In the last 15 minutes we lost sharpness, probably because they are at a more advanced stage of pre-season preparations.

“I saw many strong young players and I’m very happy. We have a great future ahead of us, but also a great present.

“There are players who are not afraid and play the ball. The youth academies should be given credit for helping to develop these lads.”

Stephan El Shaarawy did not impress on his senior Italy debut, though that wasn’t entirely surprising to his Milan teammate.

“I always criticise El Shaarawy, as I know he has immense potential. He did well tonight and showed character, but I’ll give him a few ‘slaps’ anyway!

“It is the right decision to give an opportunity to the younger players, as it’s the only way to understand how ready they are.”

Nocerino also commented on the transformation of Milan’s squad with the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Some great players have left, but that happened in the past with the likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka. We won after that and will do again.

“Milan is Milan and remains a great club regardless of who plays. Besides, don’t forget last year they paid €3 and a fizzy drink for me, but I scored 11 goals!”

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