Wednesday February 19 2014
Pinto: I've followed Italy for years

Costa Rica Coach Jorge Luis Pinto has praised a number of Italian players as his country prepares to play the Azzurri.

The Central American nation face Cesare Prandelli’s men in the group stages of the World Cup in Recife on June 20.

And their Coach has admitted that he can’t wait to come up against the former winners of the tournament.

“There is a team that I follow their every game,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “And that’s Italy.

“For five years now, I’ve got every DVD of their games, trying to collect information.

“Their tactical intelligence, the way they become one – they’re a great team.

“I deeply admire the likes of Lippi, Ranieri and Capello. I remember he was at Madrid saying to my son: ‘look who wins the League’.

“Marchisio is a great player, who covers the whole pitch. Rossi can score at any time, from anywhere.

“Balotelli is an extraordinary, physical player, but sometimes his head doesn’t always help his game.

“Pirlo meanwhile, has a great football brain, but he may find it hard to play at his level at the Wordl Cup, what with the heat.”

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