Wednesday March 5 2014
Prandelli on Spain match & Roja options

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has revealed that he would have liked to have played another opponent in this evening’s friendly.

The Azzurri go to Madrid to face Spain tonight, but the Coach has admitted that with both teams likely to meet at the World Cup, he would have preferred another side.

“If I’m honest, it is a game I would rather avoid,” he told Marca. “Three months before a World Cup, it’s a high level match that may cause us some difficulty

“This match is going to take a lot out of us, but we’re going into it with enthusiasm.

“It’s not a matter of who I would have preferred. It’s just that if Spain and Italy are going well in the group stages, then we could meet later in the tournament.

“I just don’t want to give any clues of new ideas, that’s all.

“Spain are one of the best teams in the world, but nobody’s perfect. Our goal is to put them in some trouble, and to do that we have to take risks.

“Paradoxically, their quality can also be their undoing. They’ve conceived this idea of tiki-taka football, but they constantly fall into that same idea.

“On one hand it’s great, but you have problems when you lose the ball – and I think opponents know that now.”

The tactician then commented on Carles Puyol’s absence, Diego Costa’s inclusion and Andres Iniesta’s quality.

“Puyol’s experience, personality, character and determination make him the player he is.

“He’ll always be remembered. It happened with Baresi, Maldini, Nesta and Cannavaro.

“I’m sure Diego Costa can add something to Spain though. That’s what’s so great about Del Bosque – where others see a problem, he sees a weapon to be used.

“Perhaps people thought that Diego Costa wouldn’t work with the Spanish style, but I’m convinced he’ll do just fine.

“For me, Iniesta is, undoubtedly, the best player in the world. He has everything – quality, vision, personality.

“Everywhere on the pitch, even though he may be surrounded by opponents, he looks at home on the ball.”

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