Prandelli pays tribute to ‘grace’ of Azzurri display
ITALY coach Cesare Prandelli claimed last night’s result was one in the eye for those who had already pencilled in a Spain-Germany final for Sunday night.
“I’ll say only that when one talks about Italy everyone needs to be very careful,” said Prandelli.
The Italians, who are reeling from the latest match-fixing scandal at home, have once again demonstrated the danger of their siege mentality in the face of adversity by battling their way to the final. It is a similar backdrop to those of their World Cup-winning years of 1982 and 2006.
“We have played an extraordinary game,” added Prandelli. “We have given an example of how to show grace and an attachment to the shirt.”
Asked about matchwinner Mario Balotelli’s performance, he added: “He’s brilliant, but this was a team effort. We played a fantastic game against a really good side.
“We did those things that put the opponents in difficulty. The career of Mario Balotelli has only just begun.”
Germany coach Joachim Loew was understandably dejected but also philosophical in defeat, and said: “We had two goals against us in the first half and it was difficult. The team showed a lot of heart after that. We had our chances in the second half. If we had got the goal sooner it would have been a different match.
“It’s very difficult against a team like Italy to fall behind 2-0. They defend with everything they have.
“The disappointment is huge for everyone, but we shouldn’t make the mistake and question everything. We’ve got to see how we can do better in the future.”
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