Tuesday September 6 2011
Prandelli seeks Azzurri passion

Cesare Prandelli is back in his beloved Florence for Italy-Slovenia, but has asked fans “to be more passionate towards the Azzurri.”

Around 15,000 supporters are expected at the Stadio Artemio Franchi this evening, where a win would mathematically qualify Italy for Euro 2012.

“If there really are 15,000, then I'd be happy with that,” said the former Fiorentina Coach on RAI Sport.

“Unfortunately, people only seem to remember the Nazionale is there when it's an important match.

“I'd like the fans to be more passionate towards the Azzurri and for them to remember these players are wearing the same shirt, that of Italy, so to set aside club rivalries.”

Prandelli told off Mario Balotelli this week for using his iPad during the warm-up and showing little enthusiasm in the 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

“There was a constructive discussion with him. Now everyone expects his step up in quality.”

The Manchester City striker will either be on the bench or in the stands for tonight's game, which kicks off at 19.45 UK time. We'll be live-tweeting the match on @footballitalia

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