Friday December 6 2013
Prandelli: 'World Cup draw ridiculous'

Cesare Prandelli is preparing for today’s “ridiculous” 2014 World Cup draw and warned of heat exhaustion in Brazil.

Italy are not top seeds in today’s draw, which is expected to begin at 16.45 GMT in Bahia, despite being seventh in the FIFA World Rankings.

During the rehearsal, the Azzurri were put in Group A with Brazil, France and Australia.

“Everyone knows the system doesn’t work and must be revised,” the Coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“If the ranking counts, then we are now seventh and were seventh for two and a half years, but the only month that counts is October... It’s a bit ridiculous.

“We played against top teams to get in that position. In any case, it remains a draw and we’ll see what happens.

“I believe the teams to watch are Brazil, who will be together for 45 days in the build-up to the tournament, Spain, Germany and Argentina. Outsiders are Belgium and Colombia.”

Italy finished third in the Confederations Cup in June 2013 and got to test out the facilities, venues and environmental factors.

Prandelli has suggested time-out breaks for water during games, but even that could not be enough.

“We already experienced the climactic conditions in the Confederations Cup. Japan were prepared and we struggled against them, but two days later they were exhausted too.

“We cannot think of resolving the problems during the tournament, so we must prevent them. There is also no ideal solution for a training retreat in Brazil, as nobody has one. I want to avoid three hour bus journeys each day.

“In order to acclimatise properly, you have to be in that heat for 25 days. It’s impossible for us to do that. We must therefore work on the diet and the rest, as we are going towards an increasingly scientific football planning system.

“The fitness tests will be fundamental for us to understand what condition we’re in 40 days before the World Cup.”

Italy’s proposed retreat will be at Mangaratiba and Prandelli will visit it after the draw. The Coach also commented on Ronaldo’s suggestion Mario Balotelli “can make the difference at the World Cup if he behaves himself.”

“I know Mario admires Ronaldo very much, so I hope he listens,” was Prandelli’s response.