Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has signed a 2-year extension, bringing him through the 2016 European Championships in France, the team announced in a press conference in Florence today.
“The agreement was already in place two months ago but we needed this time to formulate the contract,” Prandelli said at the presser. “The federation wanted to include my image rights and this was the reason for the delay in signing the contract.”
That contract was ironed out, and Prandelli will now be able to focus solely on the World Cup preparation, where Italy is looking to avenge their disappointing tournament four years ago under Marcello Lippi.
However, he has not yet released a 23-man roster, and says he won’t do so until after their friendly against Ireland on Saturday. Final rosters aren’t due to FIFA until June 2.
Prandelli stressed that being able to adjust to multiple situations is important as a national team.
“From an athletic standpoint, you have to be ready to take the players to an optimum condition level, then we need to put out a team that is able to put our rivals in difficulty in a fast way,” the 56-year-old said. “It is hard to see a team that will start and finish a game with the same formation – we have to be ready to be flexible. If we have a problem, we will adapt, but that change should not be a negative – it should be something that adds value to the team.
Prandelli was likely talking about having to keep his players fit for quick turnaround times in a World Cup environment, and also the need to be flexible to adjust to taking on different team setups in short periods of time.
The boss specifically talked on Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Balotelli, two players who have faced hardships recently.
Rossi has been recovering from an ACL tear, of which he’s had three in the past few years, and made his first Serie A appearance in four months at the beginning of the month.
“I have seen in Rossi a player that is making great sacrifices and one that is dreaming with his eyes open,” Prandelli said. “This is a message for all the players in the squad.”
He also mentioned Balotelli’s recent racial abuse, something he has faced plenty of over the years in Italy, but Prandelli insisted it’s an isolated thing, saying that “99 people applauded him and one idiot that insulted him,” and that “one person should not make the news.”