March 30, 2011 | In: Articles

Cesare Prandelli: Italy are great even without world class players

Cesare Prandelli is looking towards a brighter future for Italy, insisting his side are no longer clouded by the negativity which has blighted the nation since their woeful World Cup performances last year.

Sitting top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group following a 1-0 win over Slovenia on Friday, and back from the Ukraine with a comfortable 2-0 friendly win last night, the outlook is good for the Azzurri.

“The climate is more serene and the pessimism after the World Cup has gone,” Prandelli told Ansa.

“The criticisms ensured we have done something more, and I am satisfied with the group and team ideas, they have given us a stamp on our game. People said we were dead, but we are alive.

“We can be an important team even without world class players, though we do have some in the squad. Gianluigi Buffon is one such player.”

Antonio Cassano has also been keeping the coach’s attention, but more is expected from him as he finds his feet following long-term exclusion under the previous regime of Marcello Lippi.

“He knows how to carry responsibility on his shoulders, but he would be even more incisive if he was supported by brilliant form,” he added.

Cassano has struggled to gain a regular starting place for Milan since his move from Sampdoria in December.

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