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Italy have done extremely well in the recent major tournaments and they are one of the favourites to do well at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. They have qualified for this competition automatically by winning the group. Due to the recent imperious form, they were expected to take all three points in the match against Armenia. However, Italy could only manage a 2-2 draw against the minnows much to the disappointment of manager Cesare Prandelli. He said after the match that his team were too sloppy and they need to learn from these mistakes as quickly as possible.
He has also said that this result was embarrassing for the Italians, who had won the World Cup back in 2006. Denmark have finished second in the group as a result of the good run of form they have carried in last few qualifiers. Italy were coming into the match on the back of yet another 2-2 draw in the previous match and it was against Denmark. Movsisyan opened the scoring for Armenia after just five minutes, while Florenzi managed to equalise for the 2006 champions in the 24th minute. Mkhitaryan’s goal in the 70th minute appeared to have won the match for Armenia before Balotelli rescued the game for the Italians with a late goal.
“We started really badly with an embarrassing opening 20 minutes. I saw players who never gave up and that was a positive sign. I told the lads they had to play good football and that now the World Cup campaign begins, so I’ll judge every single game. We qualified for the Euros and World Cup without defeat. Clearly these last games make you think it won’t take much to win, but the truth is you need great concentration and grit,” Prandelli told Rai Sport.
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Italian clubs have so far not been good in the latest pre-season matches, but Inter Milan manager Walter Mazzarri is not worried about this trend. He is confident that Italian football, which is on the rise in the last few years, will be able to show the quality once the actual season starts. After struggling for most of last season, Inter Milan decided to appoint Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri. Even after the arrival of Mazzarri, Inter have struggled. They were recently beaten 4-0 by Valencia in a friendly match, but they were not the only Italian team to suffer a defeat in a pre-season match.
Juventus were defeated 3-1 to Everton, while Mazzarri’s former club Napoli was also beaten 3-1 by Porto. Mazzarri has said that the defeats are as a result of the different type of preparation that is adopted by Italian coaches. He has said that it is a trade-off between looking good in a friendly match and performing well in the actual season. Mazzarri has revealed that he is now looking to get his team working hard than ever before, and it is something he believes will pay off in the season. Despite these statements, Mazzarri also conceded that the 4-0 defeat does not look nice.
“The losses probably occurred because we coaches from the Italian League know what kind of preparation it requires. Our preparation is all based on work for the League and the work will pay off. In Italy we’re forced to work in this way. You have to choose whether you want to come off looking good in these important friendlies or if you want to work very little. Right now I favour hard work and I’m looking ahead,” said the former Napoli manager to the official site of Inter Milan, who finished ninth in the table last season.
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Italy managed to finish third in the Confederations cup after managing to beat Uruguay in a penalty shootout. Manager Cesare Prandelli said after the match that he is extremely happy at the way the competition has turned out for the Italians. Italy came into the tournament on the back of the final appearance at the Euro 2012 in which they were defeated 4-0 by Spain. The recent successes for the national team comes from the back of disappointing performances at the previous World Cup.
Prandelli has been given the task of rejuvenating the national team, and he is delighted with the way the tournament helped his young players get some experience. Italy and Uruguay managed a 2-2 draw on the night. Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon performed his heroics on the night to help Italy win the match on penalty shootouts. Even though Buffon was criticised heavily after the loss to Spain, he showed why he is still regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world by returning to form.
Prandelli praised his goalkeeper by saying that Buffon is a great goalkeeper irrespective of what people say about him. He also praised his entire team by saying that it was commendable for them to keep going in the month of June as the season draws close.
“We showed great character and after a long season the players kept giving. We deserved this result with some good performances and we became more consistent as the tournament went on. It was tough but we stayed in the game, and then penalties are a lottery. In Italy, people say so many ridiculous things. Penalties can be saved or not, but the problem is that people assume it’s easy to save a spot-kick,” said Prandelli.
Italy will now focus completing the job in the World Cup qualifying.
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