BLOG ITALIA
Tuesday March 22 2011
The Prandelli Code

Italy has its first victims of the code of ethics, but Susy Campanale isn't entirely clear on the rules

The first players have fallen foul of Cesare Prandelli's ‘code of ethics' and, as promised, were dropped from the Italy squad. Daniele De Rossi was guilty of elbowing Darijo Srna of Shakhtar Donetsk while on duty for Roma, while Mario Balotelli attempted a season record for the highest tackle in Manchester City-Dynamo Kiev. They miss out on a Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia, but will this make any difference to their behaviour?

NEWS
Monday March 21 2011
'Balotelli asked for help'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli claims Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has asked for his help.

The 20-year-old striker was sent off in a Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev last week.

Roberto Mancini was very critical of Balotelli and he wasn't called up to represent Italy.

The FIGC have implemented a code of ethics outlawing unsporting conduct.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi was also left out after his elbow against Shakhtar Donetsk.

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NEWS
Sunday March 20 2011
Parolo gets debut call

Cesare Prandelli has frozen out Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, but called Marco Parolo for the games against Slovenia and Ukraine.

Italy face two matches, as they travel to Ljubljana for the Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday March 25 and then to Kiev for the friendly against Ukraine on Tuesday March 29.

As expected, Roma midfielder De Rossi and Manchester City striker Balotelli have been frozen out for breaking the ‘code of ethics.'

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NEWS
Wednesday March 16 2011
Italy Under-21s to play in Serie B?

Cesare Prandelli and Demetrio Albertini have spoken of their plans to register an Italy Under-21 side in Serie B to give youth a chance on the peninsula.

After last year's exit from the World Cup at the group stages, there has been a concern that not enough talent is coming through the ranks in Italy.

The FIGC appointed Arrigo Sacchi and Roberto Baggio to oversee an improvement at academy level, and both are said to be backing Albertini's plans.

Prandelli, for one, has called it a "wonderful idea."

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NEWS
Saturday March 12 2011
Prandelli on Napoli, Juve and Balo

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli feels Napoli are still in the Scudetto race, reassures Juventus and hopes to have Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli back.

The Azzurri boss gave a lengthy interview to Sky Sport Italia, casting his eye over the current Serie A scene.

“The Scudetto is a three-horse race between Milan, Inter and Napoli. The Azzurri are still in there because they now represent a genuine team with organised tactics and I'm sure they'll be able to offer excellent performances right to the end of the season.

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Friday March 11 2011
Prandelli wants to talk to De Rossi

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli would like to talk to Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi following the violent conduct he showed against Shakhtar Donetsk.

De Rossi was caught on camera throwing an elbow at Darijo Srna and UEFA have opened an official investigation. He is expected to receive a three or four match ban.

Reports in the Italian media suggest De Rossi has fallen foul of the FIGC's 'ethical code', which would preclude Prandelli from calling up the 27-year-old for international duty until his punishment is completed.

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NEWS
Tuesday February 22 2011
Prandelli: 'Lower youth team age'

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli has proposed a change of rules to limit the age of youth team players to 18. “Aged 20 you should be in the first team.”

Much has been said on the problems of bringing youth through the ranks to play in Serie A's top sides and Prandelli has a new plan.

“I believe we should help young players by limiting the maximum age of the Primavera youth teams to 18,” said the Italy Coach at the opening of the Viareggio youth tournament.

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Monday February 21 2011
Prandelli: Napoli can dream

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli feels Napoli supporters are in a position to dream this season.

The Partenopei currently lie second in Serie A, just three points behind League leaders Milan.

Speaking to Radio Anch'io lo Sport, Prandelli said: "The championship has become very difficult, but this is its beauty.

"Many teams can dream just like Napoli's fans whose team are putting on an extraordinary performance.

"Napoli are a great team because they have a clear identity."

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NEWS
Thursday February 10 2011
Prandelli: 'New enthusiasm for Azzurri'

Cesare Prandelli feels the draw in Dortmund represented a turning point for his Italy. “People have rediscovered their enthusiasm for the Azzurri.”

The Coach was brought in after the dismal 2010 World Cup under Marcello Lippi and told to revolutionise the squad.

“This morning I went to have breakfast near my house and people had rediscovered their enthusiasm for the Azzurri,” he told ANSA news agency after last night's 1-1 draw with Germany.

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BLOG ITALIA
Thursday February 10 2011
Blue shoots of recovery

After an encouraging performance in their 1-1 draw with Germany last night, Scott Fleming extols the promise of Cesare Prandelli's new Italy.

Italy and Germany went at each other with such energy and endeavour in Dortmund last night that it seemed like a continuation of the 2006 World Cup semi-final. It appeared as if the last four years hadn't happened, as if time had stood still, and the sad thing is that for the Azzurri it had.

During those wasted years, Marcello Lippi promulgated the myth that Italy's young players were weak, fragile and unreliable, that they would wilt the moment you put them on the field against international class opposition. How wrong he was.