Italy doctor Enrico Castellacci has announced that Andrea Barzagli will remain in the country's Euro 2012 team.
The 31-year-old's involvement in the tournament had been in serious doubt after picked up a calf strain which was feared that would take up to 20 days to heal.
As a result, Davide Astori was asked to cut short his holiday in Miami and join up with the rest of the squad on stand-by, but the Cagliari defender has now been allowed to return home.
"After some medical tests, we have noticed a considerable improvement with regards to the injury," Castellacci told reporters.
"Because of this, coach Cesare Prandelli has decided to keep him on the team, in the hope that he will at least be able to play in the third group match [against Republic of Ireland].
Prior to the match against Ireland on June 18, Italy will tackle Spain (June 10) and Croatia (June 14).
Carlo Ancelotti believes that Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is blessed to have both Andrea Pirlo and Thiago Motta as his midfield options.
The former Chelsea manager worked with Pirlo during their time at AC Milan, and is currently coaching the Brazil-born midfielder at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 52-year-old believes that the two players compliment one another well, and could prove a fruitful partnership for their country during the course of Euro 2012.
"If Thiago Motta was at Milan when I was there, then I would have always used him alongside Andrea Pirlo," he told Corriere Dello Sport.
"Cesare Prandelli's decision is perfect. Thiago can play anywhere in midfield, including to the left of a strong central player like Pirlo. "Motta has brought intelligence, personality, experience and a desire to win with him to PSG. He's a great professional and he's formidable at breaking into space from midfield."
Italy begin their Euro 2012 campaign with a mouth-watering fixture against reigning champions Spain, and Ancelotti feels that Prandelli's men have what it takes to go all the way in Poland and Ukraine.
"We won't begin the game against Spain as a beaten side," he said. "I know how it will end: they'll keep the ball, and we'll hit them on the break.
"Italy can get to the final, even if everything will have to go right. Spain became Spain four years ago by beating Italy on penalties in the last eight. It doesn't take a lot to change history."
Italy will also have to contend with Croatia and Republic of Ireland in Group C.
Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni has backed Cesare Prandelli’s side to pull off a shock victory against Spain at Euro 2012 on Sunday.
Vicente del Bosque’s talent-laden world champions are widely expected to pick up an easy win over the crisis-hit Azzurri side, whose preparations have been affected by the controversies of the recent Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal.
However, Donadoni, whose reign in charge of his country was ended by a penalty shootout defeat to Spain in Euro 2008, believes the current crop of Italy players are more than capable of defying the odds by taking the game to the Spaniards.
“We can beat Xavi, Iniestia and co. by attacking,” Donadoni, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Spain are as strong as they were four years ago, but they have more responsibility.
“Better to face them now. The friendly last August (where Italy beat Spain 2-1) showed that Spain suffer when you attack them.”
Looking back to the quarter-final defeat to Luis Aragones’ eventual champions in Vienna four years ago, the 48-year-old, who is now in charge of Parma, maintains that his side held their own on the day and were unlucky losers.
“Spain weren’t so superior to Italy that day, but the rest is just a question of ifs and buts,” he said.
Under the tutelage of former coach Marcello Lippi, Italy floundered at the 2010 World Cup, but has experienced a reversal of fortunes under Prandelli.
And Donadoni admits that he is a fan of the former Fiorentina coach.
“I like Prandelli’s ideas of football. My project aimed to do something similar, but I didn’t have the time to finish it,” he said.
De Rossi says many things, in Krakow. In the face of the Pre-tactical. In defense against world champion Spain, Sunday at 18, the hours of blue for Euro 2012 debut, will play him. Chiellini and Bonucci talks about which give him a hand, the interpretation of the role in the defense of three, and is another indication of the formation. And look forward to a position at a time of emergency (Barzagli created from injury) might be good for the future, for him. She also requests that the National is protected from poisons Scommessopoli because the Blues have nothing to do - he says -.
DEFENSE - "At 99.9% I will play there. say just as the central defense is not exact, will the glue between defense and midfield. And what will the future I will be a surprise for me. Even in Rome, I have always adapted , tactically, I think rightly so. Charm European Championship is second only to the World, just to be a player you adapt. compared to 4 to play in the defense, as it happened to me in red and yellow, here in my role will be National similar to that of director. Bonucci and Chiellini give me a hand, then the difference will make the organization of the team. play with the best in the world, it will be tough. "
THE STAGES OF CHANGE TACTIC - "After Russia Prandelli proved me behind in the first training session in Coverciano. Certainty that I played there was then acquired by the day. midfielder wants a coach there, is not that the defenders are not reliable. He wants the defensive and the setting. Barzagli could be replaced by an equal role, could be a more convenient. But this is a viable option. "
OPINION OF CANNAVARO - "He says I should play in midfield, because there are among the strongest in the world? Here are a few games, is not the case of dragging their feet, but to make themselves available. I'm not desperate to have become a lawyer, could be an indication for the future. Maybe in 4 years will say that De Rossi should play behind, not in midfield. "
THE BEAT - "Buffon said on Facebook baratterebbe his last year with a 2-3 final at Euro 2012? I should exchange my successes in the last 2 years (there were any, ed) with Rome for a final."
FANS, THE ATMOSPHERE AND SCANDALS - "This work is beautiful, especially if done at these levels. It involves an ongoing relationship with the fans. We need them. The pregame of Italy-Ghana, my first approach to the World, I remember ever. Come to another kick, you think there is only Rome, then in those events you realize that the national team is the team of all. Distance with the fans? It may have been created for the affairs of the last month, but it will all be forgotten, because those who play has nothing to do with what happened. When we won the World Cup, just a month before there was a climate similar to that now. A little bit of discomfort there, because now next to the page National says that the process of a sport that can not wait it closes. But that does not involve those who are here, and many of those involved, but then someone will be there. But is that all the football environment is as dirty as it sounds. And National must be protected. "
EXPERIENCE AND CONFIDENCE - "In this group there are people who play in the Premier League, Champions League, Serie A at high levels, I do not care for the discrepancy between the experience of someone who has played a World Cup final and the other blue . confidence there. But I had it in South Africa. I think in technical and human values in this group. Then Spain is the strongest of them all, but in so short a tournament can be overcome, and the other is equivalent ".
THE WORDS OF PIQUE ' - Spain defender said: "Balotelli wins matches, Pirlo championships"? "For Pirlo talks about his career. Balotelli is young, can we hope to win a European protagonist, has won the Premier League playing many games. I think it could become a decisive player in the long term. Spain? I enjoy watching her play. Has a midfield ever seen in football history, an extraordinary concentration of talent. Xavi, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, even Busquets. Over all, I say Xavi ".
RACISM - "So far we have not witnessed racist incidents in Poland. Balotelli said he was ready to leave the field? I may need to be a choice of team, shared".
Translated by Google
Juventus are an incredibly divisive presence within Italian football. They are as loved as they are loathed, generating adulation and animosity in equal measure. The mere mention of their name never fails to provoke a passionate response. Therefore, the term 'ItalJuve' has a tendency to grate with some Azzurri supporters.
However, there can be no denying that basing the national team around Bianconero has always served the country well. As a result, there is now a very real temptation for current coach Cesare Prandelli to do likewise at Euro 2012.
When the former Fiorentina coach took charge of Italy in 2010, his plan was for his new side to play 4-3-3, but the system was ditched in favour of 4-3-1-2 early on in the qualification campaign. The switch was an unmitigated success but now Prandelli is considering another change in formation ahead of Sunday's tournament opener against Spain in Gdansk.
After seeing his side torn apart with disturbing ease by fellow finalists Russia in last Friday's friendly in Zurich, the Italy boss began experimenting with 3-5-2 in training last weekend. The conclusion was obvious. As Gazzetta dello Sport announced on Sunday morning: "Juve-style Italy".
The system change would undoubtedly represent a gamble given its proximity to a meeting with the reigning European and world champions, but as Prandelli admitted in the aftermath of the Russia debacle: "I am forced to try something, even if I haven’t got much time, to give some security at the back."
Besides, the thinking behind the switch is, at least, sound: firstly, because it is a formation familiar to several members of the squad; secondly, because it would enable Italy to get the most out of their sizeable Juventus contingent.
From a defensive perspective, Italy boast several players capable of playing in a three-man backline. Andrea Barzagli’s injury has complicated matters no end, as it has removed the possibility of Prandelli fielding the Juventus centre-half alongside his club-mates Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, who has declared himself fit to face Spain.
However, Angelo Ogbonna, who is just as comfortable at full-back as he is at centre-half, could easily slot in on the left-hand side of Italy’s central three, while Daniele De Rossi was utilised at the back to good effect by Roma last season.
An extra centre-half would also go some way towards addressing the rather worrying inability to adequately deal with set-piece deliveries that was so evident against Russia. Furthermore, Federico Balzaretti underlined on the night that he is well-suited to the role of wing-back, and Christian Maggio, who had a shocker against Russia, would certainly benefit from having greater cover behind him given his fondness for bombing forward down the right flank.
Adopting 3-5-2 would mean sacrificing Riccardo Montolivo but then, perhaps sacrifice is the wrong word in this instance, given the Fiorentina man still looks so uncomfortable in the trequartista role. Besides, De Rossi and Claudio Marchisio both demonstrated in Zurich that they are more than adept at getting beyond their front two, meaning Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano will never want for support. Even if De Rossi is redeployed, his likely midfield replacement, the industrious Antonio Nocerino, proved during his debut season with AC Milan that he has a keen eye for goal. Furthermore, Nocerino, De Rossi and Juventus duo Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo are all very familiar with lining out in a midfield three.
It is also worth pointing out that both Nocerino and Balzaretti are former Juventus players, meaning that even if Bonucci is dropped, there will be a considerable Bianconero influence within Italy's likely starting line-up against the Spanish. That is certainly no bad thing.
Mark Doyle | Italy Expert of www.goal.com
"IT IS ALSO A QUESTION OF POWER" — "I am not surprised by FootballBetting" says Buffon. "I'm a man who lives the company and also the football field, for which certain things one can also immaginersela. Surely I didn't think you could get that far, here you talking about organized crime. " And it is especially the judgement on the guilty players: "In some cases, maybe it can be for an economic issue. But in the other was the eagerness to feel important, to represent something or someone. And finally, from a certain point of view is a matter of power. And everyone likes ".
HAPPY IN THE SEMI-FINALS — in the first four Yes. "To be happy we need to reach the semi-finals," said Buffon, and the echoes Pirlo: ' you need to go to win. Then between victory and defeat there is very little, but we have to point to the first 4 ". The rivals are always the usual but Buffon made his podium: "Spain, Germany, Holland". The Italy reached the semifinals of the World Championships, 42% of the time, but given to Europeans collapses at 30%: "why Europe is more difficult-for Buffon – there's a game easy, you can't mistake". If you pass, however, you are likely to meet England. But Capello: "I am more glad that there is. We must take good Italians, I would be sorry to do an injustice to him, and I think it would be sorry to him. However, knowing when it became known that someone else wanted to make decisions in his stead, I immediately thought it would last a little, because it's not one thing that willingly accepts. As is rightly ".
PRANDELLI AND PLAN B — In 2006, the team asked Lippi a tactic more astute. For Pirlo this time there will be no need, "Prandelli is great and vaccinated for taking its decisions. He played many years in Europe with Fiorentina and then know these situations. Surely will have many modules in the head and then decide. " For this is the Great National giving more of his 14 years in blue, but injuries penalize: "Like Juve we try to play good football. the difficulties which we have to avoid is going deeper: we don't have players with those characteristics since there will no longer be red ".
"BALOTELLI MUST GIVE SIGNS OF MATURITY" — the caress of his elder brother by Buffon to Balotelli: "it's a good, a guy at heart. It's still young, however slowly must give signs of maturity. Must not be stifled his will to live, but it's just getting to the time when it becomes man. It is right to make mistakes, as I did too, but also just grow ". "I know little-says Pirlo-what does or does not have his things. Seems like a good guy. The important thing is to do things done well in the field ".
THE RECORD OF BUFFON — Surprise during the interview for Buffon when learns that he will equal the record of Cannavaro and Del Piero: 7 Finals played, from France ' 98. "I'm sorry I jumped, I already Euro2000 then the record ...". It will be the first final round by Italy Captain: "I Never thought a child to succeed. I would have been a crazy boy … It is a great joy and pride, and I think without presumption of earned it deserved ". Two moments more exciting beyond the World's victory: "the parade on Mutu to Euro2008, and set up a semi-final with Germany in 2006. The worst: Euro2004, when we came out somewhat "strange", and "strange" at least it cannot be denied. Associated with the Korea, also that "strange".
Italy played 31 official games against Spain that first one was a 0-2 lost on 02/09/1920 and last one was a 1-1 draw on 10/06/2012.
Italy record 10wins, 12 draws and 8 loses versus Spain.
|01/06/1928||Amsterdam||Italy||1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 0:1)||Spain|
|31/05/1934||Florence||Italy||1:1 a.e.t. (1:1, 1:1)||Spain|
|22/06/2008||Vienna||Spain||0:0 a.e.t. 4:2 PSO||Italy|
Krakow, June 7, 2012 - Emanuele Giaccherini is the real surprise of this group blue. The Juventus midfielder before this European had never been convened and is now ready to live a dream: "I did not expect to be part of the list of the 32 preconvocati - he admitted - and, once arrived at Coverciano, I did everything to convince the coach to take me to this European. I had a good year with Juventus and now hope to confirm in Blue. I have to thank Count, which allowed me to prove my worth in black and white. "
The midfielder, like the rest of the team, wants to redeem the defeat in Zurich with Russia: "We talked a lot after this defeat, we have faced. We said that the group has everything to do well, now we just need to find the 'self-esteem. We have tried different solutions at the tactical level, but changes little for me: I can play in both the 4-4-2 and the 3-5-2. It is important that the coach has learned that after seeing me play are all 'work closely. " Giaccherini Mario Balotelli has indicated as the key figure in this European Championship. "We're a good team, but I think that Mario will be what we can to make the leap." Also necessary step on the visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau: "It 'was an amazing experience. I started to cry when he talked about Anna Weiss. Studying the history books, watch movies pales in comparison to come here and touch what happened. "
Thiago Motta has urged Italy team-mate Mario Balotelli to act responsibly at Euro 2012.
The Manchester City striker is expected to lead the line for the Azzurri at the tournament and while Motta respects Balotelli's quality, he asked his former Inter colleague to control his temper at the Euros.
"Balotelli has not changed anything from his time at Inter, he always makes me angry," Motta told reporters at a press conference.
"He must realise that wearing the shirt of the national team is a big responsibility.
"He must be aware that with his characteristics, he can help us reach the next level in terms of quality, helping his team-mates on the field.
"Another key member of the team is Andrea Pirlo, who plays in a simple but effective way. We have to help him."
Questioned about Italy's playing style, Motta said: "Catenaccio or not, I would like to remind everyone that the previous Italy teams won many things.
"Since he joined us, coach Cesare Prandelli has always asked us to play the ball, but I think that playing well or playing badly matters little in the end.
"The most important thing is always to win."
The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder then commented on Italy's Euro 2012 opener against Spain, saying that his side face a difficult task against La Roja.
"Spain are a great side, we know how they play, but it will certainly not be easy to defeat them," Motta noted.
"But Italy also have a great squad. We must step onto the pitch and try to do our best."
The Juventus player has recovered from injury: "I'm fine, I'm not afraid." And on the national team is convinced: "Debut difficult, but also Spain must be careful. And we will not do the barricades. Three-Defense? Will count only help in the field"
Chiellini has a craving for giocarselo, this European Championship. The defender of the National, having been afraid of losing him to injury, he enjoys the atmosphere of a major event that precedes the debut blue with Spain. It takes the best from all the experiences you are living in Poland, including the poignant lived in the morning with visits to the camps, which were concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau. Then the Chiello not lean on the smash "4 defense or defense to three?", And brings out the pride when it comes to football player, or better to play: "Spain? We will not make the barricades, and in any case will not be easy even for them. "
AUSCHWITZ - "I think it was all emotion rather than touching. It 'hard to find words. We are a fortunate generation that these horrors have only read about or seen in movies. Listening to the three survivors is something that will stay in all of us. The image that remains in the eye the most is when they showed us the numbers tattooed on his arm and when we told of how a German doctor could decide in their lives when they arrive (by selecting those who were destined to hard labor and those who do the gas chamber, Ed.) He has left a unique feeling in our hearts. "
RACISM IN STAGES - "If I get angry after this visit even more? We are examples for young people, I hope this visit will serve to combat any form of disrespect or discrimination."
RECOVERY - "I'm fine, thank goodness. The injury was not as bad as feared, I had time to return to work with the team already last week. And this week I will need to finalize the details. But There is no fear, just want to begin the adventure. here has changed the atmosphere, it begins to breathe the competition, the enthusiasm that was here yesterday at the stadium can only make us well. "
THREE DEFENCE - "If the coach decides to do something, it is because we believe. De Rossi behind? It 's a great player. This year has also played in this position, which also is not his. Against Juve defender from Central was the best in the field. He has everything to do well in that role. The onset is always difficult, but against Spain even more. "
CHANGE AFTER TWO YEARS - Italy coach behind with Prandelli has always played 4. Now the meditator allenaotore tactical change, just the defense 3. "To say whether wrong or right before a match is always difficult. I do not think that Prandelli has already chosen to 200%. On our side there is belief in what we do. What will count in the field, beyond the numbers, will help: the desire and enthusiasm. "
LAST WEEK - "There were so many attacks, more or less justified, who sought to destabilize our environment. We are used to pressure, we found a way to isolate and work. If Italy is seen in the last 2 years gone? There was a decline in results since we achieved the target qualification for Euro 2012, but from here to say that Italy is gone ... ".
EARTHQUAKE, THE APPEAL - "I want to remember the victims of the earthquake in Emilia. not forget them. Send an sms to 45500."
SPAIN - "The European is shorter than the World Cup, but more difficult in some respects, the average level is very high. To stop players like Iniesta, Xavi and Silva does not suffice ppuò one player. The identity of the Spanish game disregards the interpreters. We are aware of meeting the team that made history in the last 4 years, gaining their belief against us, in Austria. We can not put us on the edge of our penalty area and then hope for a break. They will focus and respect, but also actions that characterize our rigged game. Even for them it will be difficult facing Italy. "