Saturday March 26 2011
Prandelli: 'Oriundi future of Italy'

The day after the victory in Slovenia, Cesare Prandelli notes his Italy project is progressing and Oriundi like Thiago Motta “are the future of the Azzurri.”

The 1-0 result in Ljubljana put them six points clear at the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group C.

“Things have been positive and I'm happy that right from the start we showed the players the fun of playing football,” said the Coach.

“We created a relaxed atmosphere in which everyone has the opportunity to give their best. We want to combine quality with character, something you can only do if you have a precise tactical plan.

“After taking the lead last night, we didn't sit back very much. In the games against Germany and Slovenia, we changed our initial plan of the 4-3-3 due to a lack of wingers, so focused on quality in midfield.”

Prandelli raised eyebrows by playing a ‘quality' midfield of Alberto Aquilani, Thiago Motta, Riccardo Montolivo and Stefano Mauri without any purely defensive figures.

Inter man Thiago Motta scored the decisive goal on his second cap, one of several ‘Oriundi' called up by the Coach.

“He has great technique and can play in any area of midfield. He always manages to spread the play, as if under pressure he plays it first time, while with time he picks out a more measured pass.

“His teammates recognise his importance. Thiago Motta has maintained the Brazilian technique and acquired a European mentality, so he goes into the tackle when he has to. It's good to have another important player available.

“In my view, the issue of the Oriundi has never been a problem. It is the future of football. Just look at our youth academies, where 60 per cent of the young players are foreign. Adopting the Oriundi provides Coaches with another option.”

Antonio Cassano had a quiet game and Giampaolo Pazzini hasn't scored for Italy in two years, but Prandelli is not concerned.

“It's only a problem when the team doesn't create chances and that is not the case. We need time to assimilate this new system. I liked Cassano, as he worked hard and did what was asked of him.

“Giuseppe Rossi has gained confidence that he didn't used to have and is more of a goalscorer than Cassano, so perhaps they could play together.

“I must single out Christian Maggio and Federico Balzaretti. We asked the full-backs to give depth to the side and be alert defensively, so they did very well.”