Tuesday March 29 2011
Prandelli breaks friendly taboo

Cesare Prandelli praised the “spirit” of his Italy squad after breaking the friendly taboo in Ukraine.

The Azzurri had a notoriously poor record in friendlies of one win from their last 11, against Sweden in 2009, six draws and four defeats.

“I was happy to see the lads fighting in an organised manner,” said the Coach of their 2-0 victory in Kiev.

“We saw that we could go on the counter when Ukraine lost the ball in that position and it was important for me to see the players' spirit.

“I got some great answers and these are important games to evaluate the squad. I had good responses in terms of character, quality and determination.

“Giuseppe Rossi and Alberto Aquilani were sometimes a little too close together, but we know he was playing the first time with this system.

“I ask everyone to maintain this spirit of going for the victory and continue to improve the quality of football.”

There was also good news elsewhere, as Northern Ireland-Slovenia and Estonia-Serbia ended in stalemates for Euro 2012 Group C.

“We still have to play some important games and a victory is never assured,” added Prandelli.