Prandelli praises Italian heart
June 19, 2012
Cesare Prandelli was delighted by his Italian side’s fighting spirit after booking their place in the quarter-finals following a 2-0 victory against the Republic of Ireland. Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli grabbed the goals that helped Italy to a crucial 2-0 victory against the brave Irish, ensuring Prandelli’s side did everything they could to progress to the knockout stages.
Spain’s 1-0 victory against Croatia meant that the Italians avoided an early exit and the 2006 World Cup winners reached the final-eight. Prandelli admitted afterwards that his team had to work to see off the stubborn Ireland side, managed by former Italy head coach Giovanni Trapattoni, praising his side for coming away from the match with the three points.
“It has been a very difficult match, we came up against a team that made us suffer,” Prandelli said.
“Today we knew that heart mattered more than quality. Tonight we created a lot, I hope it will be like this also in the next match.”
“No difference to us (who we play) we have already played Spain who are reigning world and European champions. If we play well we can take on anyone.”
The victory ensured Italy came through their Group C campaign as runners-up, behind group winners and defending champions Spain. Italy will now know that Group D winners England await them in the knockout stages, in a game that is one of the most evenly matched of all the quarter-finals.
England progressed to the final-eight with relative ease, coming through their group containing France, co-hosts Ukraine and Sweden as the winners, and will be full of belief that they can continue to surprise themselves and others by reaching the semi-finals.
Despite Italy’s heroics it is Vicente Del Bosque’s Spain who are considered favourites for the competition. If you fancy a flutter on the holders retaining their crown then don’t forget you can get all the best Spain Betting odds, tips and advice with Betfair. Click here for more information: http://betting.betfair.com/football/euro-2012/group-d/england/