Italy failed to find form once again after they could only manage a 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland. Italy came into the match as the overwhelming favourites, decided by a poor run of form. They continued their poor form after failing to win any of the last five matches. Apart from the poor result, manager Caesar Prandelli also had to witness one of his important players – Ricardo Montolivo – suffer an injury that will rule him out of the World Cup 2014. After the match, Prandelli was shocked to say anything about what he had just witnessed.
The poor preparation for the World Cup 2014 has put the national team’s hopes in major jeopardy. Given that they will be coming up against top teams like England and Uruguay in the group stages, Italy need to recover form as soon as possible. The match against minnows Luxembourg provides a great opportunity, but this will also be the final pretournament friendly match for the team before they get into the World Cup. The first match of the tournament will be against England and it will be followed by matches against Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Prandelli admitted that the injury suffered by Montolivo is very serious and he will definitely miss the World Cup despite being included in the final 23 man squad. “Unfortunately the match was blighted by injuries. We have been dealt a strong blow. For Riccardo unfortunately it’s something serious. This evening it’s difficult to give a technical assessment of the performance. At the end of the first half it was difficult to talk about the match considering the injuries to Montolivo and Aquilani. Rossi? We’ll assess his recovery, then we’ll reflect on things. Darmian made a very good debut,” said the manager.
Italy failed to do well at recent major tournaments.