Friday March 25 2011
Montolivo: 'Modern Italy has quality'

Riccardo Montolivo reveals how Cesare Prandelli has changed Italy's style. “We aim to play pretty fast, one-touch quality football.”

The Azzurri got their 1-0 win away to Slovenia with a well-taken goal, as Thiago Motta's give-and-go with Federico Balzaretti set him up for the angled drive.

“I am happy as we overall played a good game and could've taken the lead earlier, which would've made things easier,” said the Fiorentina star.

“We were able to play some pretty fast one-touch football to make life difficult for their midfield and that was our strength this evening.

“From the start of this Prandelli era we decided to play this type of quality football. We don't always do it well, but we are working towards that ultimate aim.”

The line-up in Ljubljana was notable for the lack of a defensive midfielder in the style of Gennaro Gattuso. Is this the end of that rugged style of player?

“I think the more we go forward, the more we must adapt to modern football. A modern midfielder must work on attacking and defending rather than reserving one for a single role. That is what the Coach asks of us.”

Italy are now dominating Euro 2012 qualifying Group C with 13 points, while Slovenia and Serbia follow on seven.

“So far we have done our duty. There is an important game with Estonia on home turf on June 3 and if we get that one then we can talk about going close to qualification,” concluded Montolivo.

“The last few games have boosted our confidence and we'll try to continue that project in Ukraine in Tuesday's friendly.”

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