Saturday June 4 2011
Prandelli: Not yet like Spain...

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has cooled comparisons between his national side and world champions Spain.

The tactician is slowly changing the Azzurri's footballing philosophy since he replaced Marcello Lippi after World Cup 2010 disaster.

Recent performances and results have been good, the latest coming in last night's dominant 3-0 victory over Estonia.

"It's too soon to be talking about the Spain friendly in August," the Coach said at Coverciano on Saturday afternoon.

"It's not possible to compare us as they have been working together for some time. Hopefully we can get to their levels in a shortly.

"We are looking for our players to grow and a lot of them won't be playing in Europe next season which is a handicap."

According to Opta statistics, Prandelli's team completed 829 passes against Estonia, the most by a team in a Euro 2012 qualifier so far.

"The performance chart yesterday showed good balance," continued the former Fiorentina boss.

"When you can interpret the game well, every challenge becomes easy, but no match is won before it is played. Our ability yesterday was that we gave our opponents hardly anything.

"There was pessimism around us at the start of my spell, but we still can't think that we can beat anyone. We are working hard and the results are helping us."

Giuseppe Rossi opened the scoring last night with a wonderful goal after Prandelli opted to play without a centre-forward in a 4-3-1-2.

"Rossi proved himself to be a complete striker yesterday. He was excellent, combining technique with speed of execution.

"He is a great professional, now mature, and it is a shame that he left Italy to play his club football elsewhere. Some people didn't believe in him…

"We can use yesterday's system again, but only if every player does their job. There are no sure starters in this team. Healthy competition can help players to give their best.

"It's now up to us to get closer to the best national sides, but, I repeat, we have achieved nothing yet."

Italy are in command of Group C and they will play Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland on Tuesday in a friendly.

"The most difficult moment for me was when I realised that compared to club football, you have to work differently, because of the short time that I am with the players," the Coach added.

"The best thing is yet to come because we have not done anything. We will have to reaffirm our desire to play football as quickly as Tuesday."

"Now I'm thinking about the next game, then we'll consider the future as time goes on."

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