Euro 2012: Italy's Prandelli hones in on Spain's "weak points"

Reuters, Saturday 30 Jun 2012

Two goals from Mario Balotelli gave Italy victory over the Germans in Warsaw on Thursday

Cesare Prandelli
Italy's head coach Cesare Prandelli attends a news conference in Krakow June 29, 2012. Italy will train for one last time in Poland before heading to Kiev on Saturday on the eve of the final against world and European champions Spain. (Photo: REUTERS)

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said he will hone in on Spain's weaknesses in the short time he has to prepare his team for Sunday's Euro 2012 final.

The Italians beat Germany 2-1 on Thursday and have a day less than the Spaniards, who beat Portugal on Wednesday, to get ready for the clash at Kiev's Olympic Stadium.

"I hope to be able to prepare in the best way possible for the match even if we only have a day to get ready," Prandelli told a news conference on Friday.

"We will look for Spain's weak points and work on those areas, even if it won't be easy because they are the world and European champions and here they are in the final again.

"That shows that their qualities aren't just in terms of technique but also on the level of morale and character. They are a reference point in many different ways but we have also improved with time.

Two goals from Mario Balotelli gave Italy victory over the Germans in Warsaw and secured them a place in the final that few had predicted prior to the tournament.

Prandelli has been credited with forging a strong team spirit and implementing a progressive approach to play while not having a squad with the kind of big names that have been available to previous Italian coaches.

Despite the praise though Prandelli, who has a contract until 2014, has said that he will consider his future after the tournament, a theme he returned to on Friday.

"I've always said that my quality of life has improved a lot but in the last two months it has been a struggle, aside from the excellent rapport I have with the team and with the federation," he said.

"They have been two tough months and so there hasn't been the serenity that I look for."

Asked whether those words meant he would be leaving the job after the tournament, Prandelli said, "I was just talking about my quality of life, later I will make my evaluation but I don't want to talk about that now, we will deal with that in three days time," he said.

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