Prandelli - Side before self
Azzurri boss wants to restore pride in the Italy jersey
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: July 1, 2010 4:44pm
Prandelli: New Italy manager
New Italy manager Cesare Prandelli says he wants his players to play for the nation, not for themselves.
The 52-year-old tactician takes the reins from Marcello Lippi, who failed to lead the Azzurri past the group stage of the World Cup this summer.
It was a disappointing campaign for Italy after their glorious triumph in 2006, and Prandelli now has the job of reforming the team after their slump.
The former Fiorentina boss has penned a four-year contract and after being officially unveiled in Rome, revealed he wants his team to play with pride for the shirt.
He said: "All the players who will be called up must understand that they don't represent themselves, but a nation. The logic has to be that of the group and the attachment to the shirt.
"I am convinced that there are quality players in Italy and it's my intention to propose a qualitative brand of football. The important thing is not to hurry and to know how to plan well.
"I am already thinking about possible call-ups because I want to concentrate on the qualifiers for Euro 2012. I hope to be able to see some good games from Italy quickly."
Prandelli also had praise for former coach Lippi, acknowledging the work he did during his two spells in charge.
"I want to salute Marcello Lippi who did great things with the national team and leaves an important mentality," he added.
"This is certainly the highest point of my career. There are difficulties, but I want to start with the right optimism and with great humility.
"Now my only thought is that of the European Championship. I want to get there with an Italy side that already has its own identity."
Prandelli revealed that he wants goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who picked up an injury during the World Cup, to take the captain's armband following the retirement of Fabio Cannavaro.
He remarked: "I hope that he can become a reference for all of us. It's my intention to give him the captain's armband at the next European Championship."