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Friday, 04 May 2012 11:43

Prandelli: Italy can win Euro 2012

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is confident ahead of this summer's European Championship claiming his side are travelling to Euro 2012 with the sole intention of winning the tournament.

The Azzurri have been drawn in a tricky group alongside reigning World and European champions Spain, dark horses Croatia and a well-organised Republic of Ireland side.
However despite a difficult group, the former Fiorentina trainer is full of confidence for what lies ahead in June and July.
“I think all coaches at any level before starting a game think they can win it. We have the experience to face big teams and certainly we have the conviction, which we have created within the group," told reporters at a publicity event on Thursday.
“This means that in difficult moments we know we are together, when needed we have the willingness to help each other and I am also convinced that we can play good football. We leave for the European Championships to win them.”
Italy kick-off their Euro 2012 campaign on June 10 against Spain at the PGE Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

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Monday, 23 April 2012 15:59

Prandelli: Balotelli coming to EUROs

Mario Balotelli will be an integral part of Italy's European Championship squad in Poland and Ukraine in June, national team coach Cesare Prandelli said today. The temperamental Manchester City forward's participation had been called into question following his latest indiscretion, when he received a three-match ban for being sent off against Arsenal.
Prandelli originally said he would look into the incident, sparking rumours he would leave Balotelli out due to the 21-year-old's disciplinary problems. But now the Italy coach insists he cannot do without the enigmatic star.
"I liked the fact he took responsability and what he said after the recent event with City," Prandelli said. "I like people who face up to things. I never thought of leaving him out, he's a fixed part of the national team."
Another player who Prandelli is keen to take with him in June is AC Milan's Antonio Cassano, who still needs to prove his fitness following his recent return to action after heart surgery. "We can get him back," said Prandelli. "His enthusiasm is contagious and I need him."

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Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-president Demetrio Albertini believes that Antonio Di Natale deserves to be considered for selection for Euro 2012.
The Udinese striker is now 34 but remains the most prolific marksman in Serie A and, for that reason alone, Albertini feels Di Natale is a very viable option for Cesare Prandelli's Italy squad.

"Given what he has done and is continuing to do, he is definitely one of the eligible candidates [for a place in the squad]," the former AC Milan midfielder told RaiSport 1.
Of course, Di Natale's fellow forwards Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli are also hoping to travel to Poland and Ukraine.
Both players are considered difficult to handle but Albertini believes that they have been unfairly portrayed as troublemakers by the media.
"The have always behaved well with the national team," he argued. "However, sometimes people exaggerate when they are criticising their behaviour, even though they are great champions and just regular guys."
Turning his attention to this season's race for the Scudetto between Juventus and AC Milan, Albertini admitted that with the Bianconeri just one point clear of the Rossoneri at the summit of the standings, he finds it difficult to pick a winner with any great conviction.
"I cannot favour one side in particular," the former Azzurri star confessed. "Juventus have played well and are now fighting for the title.
"AC Milan have more quality and despite having suffered several injuries, they are, to their credit, still there."
Albertini, who was capped 79 times by the Azzurri, spent 14 years at San Siro before enjoying spells at Atletico Madrid, Lazio, Atalanta and Barcelona.

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Italy doctor, professor Enrico Castellacci, has confirmed that Giuseppe Rossi is distraught at the prospect of missing Euro 2012 through injury.

The Villarreal attacker has been on the sidelines for the majority of this campaign, but was expected to be fully fit in time for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.
However, the 25-year-old suffered a recurrence of the anterior cruciate ligament injury in club training on Friday, and will now miss the competition.
Castellacci has confirmed that Rossi is devastated by the news and will be out of action for another six months.
"I was just on the phone with Beppe [Rossi]. He’s distraught and he really expected to make a comeback in order to have a chance to make the Euros, but now I think he’ll go back to the United States," Castellacci told Radio Sportiva.
"This is a terrible blow for the athlete and the man, who I really care about. He is a splendid lad and this setback is painful for all of us. I had spoken to him only two days ago and he said he felt good.
"We were happy to hear his enthusiasm and I probably would’ve gone to see him personally. I perform hundreds of operations on cruciate ligaments every year.
"He said it was a banal trauma that caused it, but there could be many reasons for the fresh injury and it doesn’t seem right to discuss them until we know more details. Meanwhile, the drama of this poor lad is what stands out.
"He will have to undergo another operation and wait those six months to get back to playing football," he concluded.

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Italy have been rocked by the news that Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi will definitely miss Euro 2012 after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament for a second time.

The 25-year-old forward had been nearing a return to competitive action after first injuring his right knee during his club's Liga loss to Real Madrid at the tail end of October.
However, Villarreal announced on Friday afternoon that the player tore his ACL again during a training session earlier in the day.
Rossi now requires another operation on his knee and is expected to be out for a further six months.
The news will come as a major blow for Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli, who had been hoping that Rossi would make his comeback before the season's end and thus give the coach an extra striking option for the country's Euro 2012 campaign.
The injury could also scupper the former Manchester United man's hopes of a summer transfer, with the player having been heavily linked with a return to Italy in recent months.

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The boss again gave a cryptic response to the idea of the pair of World Cup winners turning out for the Azzurri again and would like Mario Balotelli to 'calm down'.

It has been a number of years since the seasoned forwards made their last appearances for the national team, but the injuries to Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano have seemingly opened the door to the possibility of two sensational comebacks.

However, the coach again was tight-lipped when posed the question: "Totti and Del Piero wearing the Azzurri colours? I do not say yes and I do not say no, I say wait.

"Of course, I miss Rossi and Cassano, but I will wait until the last day for them. Balotelli is very strong, but still needs to calm down."

Prandelli had been touted as a potential candidate for the managerial post at Inter following Claudio Ranieri's sacking a few days ago.

In response to the reports, he admitted he does miss aspects of coaching at club level but insisted Italy remains his sole focus going into the summer's showpiece event.

"Inter? I am concentrating on the national team, but if it goes wrong in Poland and Ukraine, who knows," Prandelli told Tuttosport.

"I repeat, I do miss the day-to-day responsibility, I've never hidden it."

Italy open their European Championship campaign against Group C rivals Spain on June 10.

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The young striker is confident that he can convince Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli to give him a place in the team if he continues playing at a high level.

The 20-year-old, who is co-owned by Roma and Parma, has been in stunning form for the Giallorossi since joining the club in the summer, with nine goals to his name in Serie A.

Borini made his Italy debut in the 1-0 friendly defeat against the United States in February, and is keen to represent the Azzurri in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

"Yes, I hope that I will be at the Euros, but this is not up to me," Borini told Sky Sport Italia.

"I must continue to work well and put in good displays on a regular basis. Then, the coach will be the one to decide."

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