My Italy project does not stop here, insists manager Cesare Prandelli

Coach defies negative press coverage after assurances from his national federation

The Italian press reacted with hurt and frustration – but also a measure of pride – after the Azzurri were outclassed as Spain swept to an unprecedented third consecutive triumph – but the national coach, Cesare Prandelli, for one is determined to pick up the pieces.

Prandelli, having guided Italy to a final in Kiev that few thought they would ever reach, has confirmed his intention to remain in charge. "It's already been written that the project does not stop here, and that it must continue," said the former Fiorentina manager.

"Of course, my decision also takes into account [Sunday's] loss. It's impossible to leave now. I decided to stay because I saw there is a common desire to change. I met with the federation and they made me certain of that. They told me they wanted to continue on this road."

The Italian newspapers did not seem quite so sure about that, though. The Rome-based Corriere dello Sport ran the headline "Prandelli, what have you done?" The paper's sub-headline continued: "We were in pieces, they were very strong" and its coverage described Spain's dominance as "heavily embarrassing."

The same paper queried some of Prandelli's decisions, such as taking off Antonio Cassano for Antonio Di Natale at half-time and later replacing Riccardo Montolivo with Thiago Motta – who had some consolation for his later injury yesterday when he signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him at Milan until 2017.

The national daily La Repubblica echoed these sentiments, with its front-page headline of "The big disappointment," alongside a photograph of a tearful Mario Balotelli, who stormed off the pitch after the final whistle, shoving aside a team official in the process.

But the Italian celebrity gossip weekly Chi at least managed an upbeat spin on the final week of Euro 2012, reporting that the Manchester City striker had been inspired before the semi-final win over Germany by the news that he was to become a father for the first time.

Balotelli's girlfriend Raffaella Fico told Chi: "I called Mario while he was with the national team before the match with Germany and I said to him: 'Remember our dream of becoming parents? Well, that dream has become a reality. I'm expecting a baby. Your baby'.

"He remained silent at first, then he let himself go. 'You've given me the best news in the world,' he told me. Then the next day on the pitch he scored two goals."

The image of Balotelli was also used on the front page of Gazetta dello Sport, Italy's biggest-selling paper, with the headline: "Like this, it hurts…" An editorial said "Thanks anyway", apparently reckoning that making the final was an achievement in itself.

Gazetta admitted Spain had been the better team, but also bemoaned the injuries that led to the Azzurri being reduced to 10 men on the hour mark when Motta had to be carried off on a stretcher.

The Turin-based Tuttosport's headline was "Italy, don't cry" accompanied by a photograph of captain Gianluigi Buffon. The sub-headline read: "Legendary Spain – but we return with our heads held high." Its editorial praised the national team for their efforts during the competition.

Prandelli must feel he has a good chance of rebuilding team confidence with an early return to action. Italy's next game, a friendly on 15 August, is against the side they knocked out of Euro 2012: England.

 

Suggested Topics
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
tv
News
news
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal