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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Prandelli plan poses Italy no problems

ESPN staff

Italy national team manager Cesare Prandelli believes he has found the solution to picking a competitive side for this summer's Confederations Cup.

The warm-up to next year's World Cup conflicts with the European under-21 competition and could rob either Prandelli or under-21 coach Devis Mangia of a player vital to their respective plans.

But Prandelli insisted there was a plan in place which would hopefully bring success to both sides.

"They are two very important tournaments, so we will wait until the end of the season," Prandelli told Sky Sport Italia.

"We have already worked out the two groups, but we want to wait a little longer.

"We don't want to take anything away from the Under-21 side, nor remove those two or three who can already form part of the senior Italy squad."

One of the players that could be chosen in either side is AC Milan's young revelation Stephan El Shaarawy, the 20-year-old attacker scoring 19 goals this season for the Rossoneri.

However, El Shaarawy's form has dropped off in recent weeks, forcing Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri to experiment with his starting XI.

But the striker returned to the side for the top-of-the-table clash against Juventus and Prandelli is confident Allegri knows how to manage the young star.

"Milan know how to deal with their players," Prandelli said. "Massimiliano Allegri chose someone else for the Napoli game, but that doesn't dent a fantastic season for El Shaarawy."

Instead, Prandelli is focusing on devising a plan to capture another World Cup for the Italians, hoping to become the manager to lead the country to its fifth crown.

And the 55-year-old believes that for Italy to match the likes of the reigning world champions Spain, the next generation, like those to be included in Magia's final squad, must make the most of their opportunities.

"Italian teams must think they gave their all in terms of character and temperament, but clearly to reach the top level you need world class players and those come with investment," he said.

"The step up in quality is always made by the great players. Don't forget two years ago it was also thought we couldn't do anything better, but the mentality is changing.

"We still need to step up the level of intensity in Serie A, though.

"My future? In Italy it is our nature to have coaches always hanging by a thread.

"After the World Cup qualifiers, the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, then we'll see what my future holds. Right now I am thinking only of the Nazionale."




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