Wednesday October 12 2011
Respect Italy, says Balzaretti

Federico Balzaretti has warned Italy's Euro 2012 rivals that his side can still improve ahead of next summer's Finals.

The Azzurri ended their qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland last night, meaning they topped the group thanks to eight wins and two draws.

"We are happy with how we are playing our football," stated the Palermo left-back. "But the road ahead is still long for us.

"We've managed to collect these results in qualification because we have remained humble and worked well."

Cesare Prandelli replaced Marcello Lippi after Italy's disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign with the task of rebuilding an ageing side.

Things have gone well so far and Balzaretti is convinced that the Azzurri now have the ability to beat anybody.

"We are on the same level as the big teams," continued the former Juventus and Fiorentina stopper.

"However, the football field, as always, will provide us with the final verdict."

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