Monday May 5 2014
Prandelli: Ahead of schedule

Italian national team boss Cesare Prandelli believes that they are ‘ahead of schedule’ for the World Cup.

Prandelli gathered a preliminary squad at Coverciano last month to conduct some initial fitness tests before the end of the campaign.

And the Coach is confident that those few days in Florence will stand the team in good stead ahead of Brazil in June.

“I’m glad that the League allowed me to carry out these tests,” he told Radio Rai. “We’re ahead of schedule.

“We have all the data that will allow us to start work straight away when the lads finish their seasons.”

The tactician then commented on some difficult choices ahead of a squad announcement later in May.

“Performances this season have made life tough for me, but that’s exactly what I wanted.

“Eligible players are desperate to play at a World Cup, so making the decision is, and has been, tough.

“Balotelli? He has been impeccable with us – scoring goals and behaving well.

“I went a performance like he gave last night [against Inter]. That’s the sort of thing we expect. Major players have to do more than just score goals.

“Toni? He’s rediscovered his joy for the game. He was instrumental and a reference for many young players. I don’t know if Toni will [be named in the squad] because we have started a project and want to continue along that path.

“But if we are short, then I know who I’ll turn to.”

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