NEWS
Wednesday February 9 2011
Prandelli: 'Let Cassano get on with it'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has told the Italian media to let Antonio Cassano do his talking on the pitch.

Prandelli is fed up with fielding questions about the Milan playmaker.

Speaking to Rai Sport before this evening's friendly with Germany, Prandelli said: "Enough talking about Cassano. We have to stop it.

"I now want to see the kind of behaviour from Antonio that in my opinion will be extraordinary.

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NEWS
Wednesday February 9 2011
Zidane: 'I'll never apologise' to Matrix

Zinedine Zidane insists he “will never apologise” for head-butting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final.

The French legend was sent off in his last ever competitive game, having struck Italy defender Materazzi in the chest during extra time.

“At first it was difficult, I cannot deny that,” Zidane told L'Equipe newspaper of the fall-out from that incident.

“I was provoked on that occasion and it doesn't seem right for me to say sorry, even if I'm not proud of the gesture. But I will never apologise.

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NEWS
Wednesday February 9 2011
Materazzi: 'Zidane should apologise...'

Marco Materazzi replied to Zinedine Zidane's refusal to apologise for the 2006 headbutt. “He should apologise to himself for ruining his career.”

The French legend told L'Equipe that he would “never apologise” for the head-butt in the 2006 World Cup Final that marked the last moment of his professional career.

“I think Zidane should first of all apologise to himself, because it's his career he ruined and not mine,” commented the Inter defender.

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NEWS
Wednesday February 9 2011
Line-ups: Azzurri back in Dortmund

Antonio Cassano, Giampaolo Pazzini and debutant Thiago Motta start as Italy take on Germany in Dortmund.

The international friendly kicks off at 19.45 UK time and will see the teams clash in the same city as their epic 2006 World Cup semi-final.

Coach Cesare Prandelli welcomes back Cassano and Gianluigi Buffon after long absences, while he reunites the former Sampdoria partnership with Pazzini.

Inter midfielder Thiago Motta starts on his debut for Italy, as the Brazil-born player only got the all-clear from FIFA days before the game.

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NEWS
Wednesday February 9 2011
Prandelli: 'Draw was the right result'

Cesare Prandelli maintains “the draw was the right result” in Dortmund and commented on Giorgio Chiellini's new position.

“The draw is the right result, a defeat would've been unfair. We played well in a difficult arena,” he said of Italy's 1-1 in Germany.

“We were a little more intense after the break, although in the first half we also had some good chances.”

Giuseppe Rossi scored the equaliser nine minutes from time after a Miroslav Klose opener.

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NEWS
Tuesday February 8 2011
Thiago Motta to start for Italy?

Italy's training session this morning appears to indicate that Thiago Motta will start against Germany and Giorgio Chiellini will play at left-back.

The Azzurri were put through their paces at Coverciano before leaving for tomorrow's friendly in Dortmund.

Reports in the media claim that Cesare Prandelli used Motta at the base of a midfield diamond in a mini-game.

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NEWS
Tuesday February 8 2011
I feel Italian, says Thiago Motta

Inter midfielder Thiago Motta insists that he feels Italian ahead of his debut for La Nazionale in a friendly against Germany on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old, who was born in Brazil, is the latest Oriundo to wear the famous blue shirt.

Speaking from Italy's training camp in Coverciano, he said: "I hope to play a great game. It will be a special evening. The emotion will not be comparable with anything else I have been through in my career so far.

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NEWS
Tuesday February 8 2011
Prandelli reunites Cassano-Pazzini

Cesare Prandelli announced the Italy line-up against Germany, including Thiago Motta, Giampaolo Pazzini and Antonio Cassano.

The Azzurri travel to Dortmund for Wednesday evening's international friendly and already know their initial XI.

“Gigi Buffon plays in goal, with Mattia Cassani, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Ranocchia and Giorgio Chiellini in defence,” explained the Coach during his Press conference.

“Riccardo Montolivo, Thiago Motta and Daniele De Rossi in midfield, then Stefano Mauri, Cassano and Pazzini in attack.”

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NEWS
Tuesday February 8 2011
Loew: 'Meeting of great national sides'

Germany manager Joachim Loew looks ahead to tomorrow's friendly with Italy. “It will be a meeting of two great national sides.”

They clash in a replay of the 2006 World Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening in Dortmund.

“Last season we were a step ahead of Italy at the World Cup in South Africa, but they remain a side who can really defend well,” said Loew.

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BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday February 8 2011
Giving youth a chance

Cesare Prandelli has named a young Azzurri squad for this week's friendly against Germany. Serafino Ingardia praises his approach

There is something fascinating about the Italy squad which Cesare Prandelli has named ahead of the Germany friendly. The first cap for the latest Oriundo Thiago Motta is obviously very interesting, but the best news is the increased number of youngsters in the squad.

After years of talking about giving youngsters a chance and rejuvenating the team, Prandelli has finally kept his word and started a new process which will hopefully prepare the next generation ahead of Brazil 2014.

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