Tuesday June 11 2013
Prandelli: Italy in Brazil to grow

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli is keen to take advantage of his country’s inclusion in this month’s Confederations Cup.

Although it is only a friendly tournament, the Azzurri tactician insists lessons can be learned ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“This tournament is a World Cup rehearsal,” Prandelli stated after his side landed in Rio on Monday. “It will be a very hard competition.

“We must have the desire to surprise. We have come here to play in important games and to grow as a team.

“It is also a great opportunity for us to test out potential players for the future.”

Italy, who will face Haiti in a friendly on Tuesday, will start their Confederations Cup bid against Mexico on Sunday.

“They won the Olympics, they play brilliant football and have a great Coach,” the CT continued. “They also have dangerous attackers.

“However, before them, we have to face Haiti. It will be an important test because we want to immediately settle into this new environment and time zone.”

Italy, who will also play Brazil and Japan in the group stages of the tournament, drew 0-0 in the Czech Republic on Friday. A tie which saw Mario Balotelli dismissed.

“We suffered because we had not had a game for a while, but we must play with a different spirit here.

“Balotelli? We’ve spoken. There are no excuses – there is trouble if you respond to the provocations of opponents.”

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