Saturday June 15 2013
Albertini: 'Italy behind schedule'

FIGC director Demetrio Albertini praised Cesare Prandelli, but admits “Italy are a little behind schedule physically.”

The fitness levels of the Azzurri were particularly worrying in the 0-0 World Cup qualifier with the Czech Republic and shock 2-2 friendly draw against Haiti.

There is no more time to get into gear, as their Confederations Cup campaign kicks off at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) on Sunday against Mexico.

“Prandelli has been able to create the right squad, which we saw at Euro 2012 and in the qualifiers,” Albertini told Sky Sport Italia.

“Mario Balotelli is a great player and we hope he can find his form in every sense.

“It is true the two draws showed Italy are a little behind schedule physically. Fitness levels cannot be at their best after the end of the season, but we hope the situation can improve from the opening game onwards.

“The squad is working in a calm atmosphere and above all with concentration, because the first match will be the most difficult.”

The Azzurri also face Japan and Brazil in Group A.

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