NEWS
Thursday April 7 2011
Italy return to FIFA ranking top 10

Italy will surge back into the top 10 of the FIFA World Ranking thanks to their recent victories in Slovenia and Ukraine.

The Azzurri had been out of the top spots since the disastrous 2010 World Cup, but have restored their pride under Cesare Prandelli.

Last month's wins away to Slovenia in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and Ukraine in a friendly helped boost the co-efficient.

The official FIFA rankings will only be announced in a week, but the Gazzetta dello Sport suggests Italy will be in ninth place.

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Thursday April 7 2011
Baggio to resign from FIGC?

There are reports that Roberto Baggio is about to resign from his Federation role after seeing a €7m proposal rejected.

Il Divin Codino was drafted in during the big shake-up of the Italy set-up and appointed President of the Technical Sector eight months ago.

However, it was always a little unclear what exactly his position involved and that still seems to be the case within the Federation.

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Wednesday April 6 2011
Prandelli: I don't support anyone

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has backtracked after controversially saying that he is backing Napoli to win the Scudetto this season.

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has complained to the President of the FIGC Giancarlo Abete about his lack of impartiality.

"I don't support any team," Prandelli said. "Obviously it makes me very happy that a club like Napoli is organising itself to win the Scudetto: it's a phenomenon that does Italian football good.

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Tuesday April 5 2011
Prandelli hails Napoli

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has hailed Napoli's performances this season, likening their achievements to his old Fiorentina side.

Napoli moved into second on Sunday with a thrilling 4-3 win against Lazio.

They are now three points behind League leaders Milan with seven games remaining.

Speaking to Radio CrC, Prandelli said: "This is a very entertaining season, above all thanks to Napoli who've shown an extraordinary continuity.

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Tuesday April 5 2011
Italy: Estonia qualifier in Modena

Italy's crunch Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia on June 3 will be played at the Stadio Braglia in Modena.

The FIGC announced the venue this evening for the match leading up to the European Championships in Ukraine and Poland.

It will be the third time in the last five years that Italy have played in Modena, after the Under-21 side welcomed Spain in 2006 and the senior squad faced the Faroe Islands in 2007.

The Azzurri currently lead qualifying Group C with 13 points, followed by Slovenia and Serbia on eight, then Estonia with seven points.

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Friday April 1 2011
Santacroce tipped for Italy

Napoli defender Fabiano Santacroce has the ability to become part of the Italy squad again, says his agent.

The defender, a former Under-21 international, is uncapped at full international level but he has been called up to the Azzurri squad in the past.

Although he's struggled to get a regular game at Napoli this term, Claudio Pasqualin is adamant that the player can get his career back on the right path.

"I don't think it would be a scandal to see Santacroce in the Italian national squad," the representative noted.

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Wednesday March 30 2011
Prandelli: 'They gave us up for dead'

Cesare Prandelli hit back at Italy's critics. “They gave us up for dead, but we've wiped out the post-World Cup pessimism.”

The Azzurri have been revived under their new Coach, winning back-to-back games away to Slovenia and Ukraine, while they are five points clear at the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group C.

“Yes, there is a more relaxed atmosphere and we've wiped out the post-World Cup pessimism,” Prandelli told Ansa news agency.

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Tuesday March 29 2011
Matri: 'I never dreamed of debut goal!'

Alessandro Matri admits he “never expected to score on my debut” and explains how he got the goal in Kiev.

“I never expected to score on my debut. We got the win, which is even more important,” he said after Italy's 2-0 victory over Ukraine.

They were already leading 1-0 when substitute Matri gathered Sebastian Giovinco's backheel flick on the counter and finished with an angled drive in off the upright.

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Tuesday March 29 2011
Prandelli: 'Infinite patience with Balo'

“I have infinite patience with Mario Balotelli,” assured Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli after the latest scandal.

The Manchester City striker was dropped for the games against Slovenia and Ukraine after breaching the code of ethics by receiving a ban for violent conduct at club level.

This week he was also accused by British newspapers of throwing darts towards City youth team players in training.

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Tuesday March 29 2011
Rossi sees new Azzurri generation

Giuseppe Rossi was pleased to see so many of his old Under-21 teammates progressing to the senior Italy squad.

The average age of the line-up this evening was 26, compared to the 29 that went to the 2010 World Cup.

“There's always been a good connection with (Sebastian) Giovinco and we also had (Riccardo) Montolivo, (Alberto) Aquilani and (Antonio) Nocerino from the Under-21 side,” he said of tonight's 2-0 friendly win in Ukraine.

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