Friday September 30 2016
Prandelli: ‘World Cup not my fault’

Cesare Prandelli defends his Italy record - “every good thing we did in four years was forgotten because of a single game”.

The Azzurri reached the final of Euro 2012 under the former Fiorentina Coach, but suffered an embarrassing Group Stage elimination at the World Cup four years later.

The CT carried the can for the failure, along with Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano, and discussed the disappointment with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Football is like that,” Prandelli sighed.

“Everything good we had done in four years was forgotten in a single game, the one against Costa Rica.

“Players said Antonio Conte brought the rules back? It means nothing, with every sacking the team says that the new Coach is better.

“It’s a little bit of a lack of courage, a little bit of a signal to tell the new Coach ‘you can count on me’. I’m not shocked.

“The training camp? That - along with the code of ethics and the idea of brining wives and girlfriends - was a decision shared among the group.

“Then everyone found it convenient to blame me, Cassano and Balotelli.”

Prandelli appeared to be close to the Lazio job, but the Biancocelesti appointed Marcelo Bielsa - who failed to turn up - and then Simone Inzaghi. Did Prandelli feel betrayed?

“If a player does it, they do it unconsciously. For a President it’s different, it hurts.

“There were the conditions to work well together, we had shaken hands but these are no longer the days of Bortolotti.”

Despite these setbacks, the Coach never thought about quitting and appears set to take over at Valencia.

“I had a responsibility to my children. I thought about professional suicide many times - enough, I’ll stop. And not just after the experience with the national team or Galatasaray.

“But then the passion comes in and you return to the game.”