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Italy will be up against the likes of Uruguay and England in the group stages of the World Cup. After having recently lifted the competition in 2006 and also after a good performance in the Euro 2012, Italy have been put are some of the favourites for the title. Uruguay have also done well in recent major tournaments. Their attack, which is spearheaded by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, is regarded as one of the best in the world. This has put England as the rank outsiders to qualify from the group stages, but Italy’s manager Cesare Prandelli thinks otherwise.
He says that England have improved massively in recent months under the leadership of Roy Hodgson, who took over from Fabio Capello just before the Euro 2012. England once again suffered the early exit in that tournament, but Hodgson has been determined to put things right by adopting a new tactic. He recently brought in a sports psychologist in order to help the players get over the mental block of the nation not having went past the quarter-finals of a major tournament for a long time.
Hodgson has also done away with older players like Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole and it has helped the emergence of youngsters like Jack Wilshere and Luke Shaw.
“I think England have improved a lot. They have discovered new players, especially the wingers, and athletic players who run a lot. Despite the fact we dominated that game, we weren’t able to score – I’m sure this will be a totally different match to the one we played two years ago. We’ll find a different England, with different footballers, because like I said, in the last months they have been good and lucky enough to scout new and talented players,” said Prandelli.
Italy recently lost in a friendly to world champions Spain.
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There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Cesare Prandelli at international level. The Italian manager has been rumoured to been looking at some club jobs once the World Cup comes to an end. Prandelli has done his reputation no harm since taking over the Italy job, which promised to destroy even the best coaches. Italy were going through a transitional period after the 2006 World Cup victory. A number of the top players were entering into the final years of their career, but Prandelli has managed to subtly replaced them with younger talent.
He has become one of the most wanted coaches in world football after his exploits with the Italian national team, who he took to the final of Euro 2012. Italy are once again favourites to win the World Cup in the Brazil edition, but speculation about Prandelli’s future continues to be a major talking point. The manager has failed to bring the speculation to an end as he has said that he has not decided what he will do with the national team job after the end of the World Cup. Tottenham have been the recent club to be linked with a move for his services.
Despite appointing Tim Sherwood, it is thought that the Premier league outfit will still be happy to get Prandelli.
“I’m torn. I miss the daily work on the pitch that you get when coaching a club although I am perfectly happy with this role. I will reflect and we shall see. I will go to Brazil having already made a decision,” said Prandelli ahead of the World Cup. The former Fiorentina manager has not been able to manage a club outside Italy, but his exposure with the world game after the Italy job has made him attractive for several clubs.