Prandelli: Italy not scared of champions
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says facing reigning champions Spain in the final of Euro 2012 holds no fear for his players.After winning Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, and also capturing the FIFA World Cup in South Africa two years ago, Spain are bidding to become the first side to win three successive major international tournaments.
But they were held 1-1 by Italy in their Group C opener, and Prandelli feels his team has improved further since that positive result.
"We are not afraid of Spain," he said.
"We will try to find their weakest point and work on them.
"It won't be easy, it's their third final in a row and this means they have great qualities. But we have grown since the start of the tournament and now we really are a team. We were fantastic against Germany (in the semi-finals)."
Prandelli is under contract for another two years and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete has already claimed the former Fiorentina coach will continue until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
However, the coach, who succeeded Marcello Lippi in 2010, has indicated he is seriously considering a return to the club game.
"I will think about my future after Euro 2012," he said.
"The last two months have been very tough.
"It's true that nobody cares about the national team in certain moments.
"We have brought millions of people in the street, but starting from September no one will think about Italy anymore."
Prandelli has called for more of the same from Mario Balotelli after the Manchester City striker netted a ruthless brace against Germany.
"If Mario looks back at the match against Germany in the right way, he will want to try and repeat what he did against Germany," Prandelli said.
"It's the only way he will become a real champion. He knows that he has to work to improve some aspects and against Germany he proved all of his quality."