Wednesday April 30 2014
‘Italy’s players back the code’

Cesare Prandelli says he has the Italy squad’s full backing on his code of ethics and says it will only be dropped when that does not exist.

The CT has come under criticism during his tenure for this disciplinary code, which has dropped several players in the past few years from international involvement for misbehaving at club level.

“There is confusion, because we want to create - there are plenty of strong views, there is so much pathos, there are journalists as fans,” considered Prandelli when once more asked on the issue by the Corriere della Sera.

“Only when an event starts does everyone become Italian. The Code, which we have never called ‘ethical’, is a way of being and was conceived at Coverciano, talking with both the youngsters and with those with more than 100 caps.

“I told them that on a Sunday I never want to see a fist, an elbow, a gesture of reaction. And I asked: is it fair to call up someone who behaves in that way? And they said to me: no, it is not right.

“In these four years, no player has complained. Some directors have complained, but only when it has been to their use.

“At the time I did not call Osvaldo up to the Confederations Cup, no-one had to talk because the season was over.

“Two other things - I am the judge and I do not have to wait for the outcome of sporting justice. And the Code will be reconsidered only when the players say they do not agree anymore.

“I’m after a club mentality? It is a journey, we have chosen to renovate [the national team], but how many guys have experience at international level?

“If I have to compete for a World Cup, it is best to choose players who have a character and personality that can hold the weight of this competition.”

Prandelli’s interview also covered Mario Balotelli’s position heading into the World Cup, the chances of Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Antonio Cassano making the flight to Brazil and on the importance of the opening group stage match against England.

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