Wednesday September 7 2011
Ranocchia hails defensive record

Andrea Ranocchia was proud of contributing to Italy's 689-minute clean sheet, but “now work begins” on Euro 2012.

The Azzurri have qualified for the tournament with five consecutive victories and haven't conceded since the first game, a 2-1 win in Estonia on September 3, 2010.

“Our objective today was to achieve qualification and we did it, so now work begins on the tournament,” he said of the 1-0 win over Slovenia on Tuesday night.

“Slovenia are a stronger side than the Faroe Islands with more quality, but we held out well. In defence we were doubly happy at qualification and a clean sheet.

“The season hasn't even started yet, so it's only normal we are lacking intensity and our legs are a little heavy.

“We tried to score every way we could and at one point thought the ball just didn't want to cross the line.”