Cesare Prandelli: “The Italian shirt isn’t mine or yours but belongs to everyone.”

Cesare Prandelli was presented today in Rome as the new Italy boss after the South African embarrassment. Mr. Prandelli had been named to succeed Marcello Lippi before the tournament. He spent the last five years as the manager of ACF Fiorentina and today signed a four-year contract with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). His first game on the Azzurri bench will take place on 10 August against Cote d’Ivoire from Craven Cottage in London.

Playing and Management Career

Prandelli, 52, began and finished his Serie A career as a midfielder with Atalanta of Bergamo. He spent 5 years with Juventus during the Michel Platini era and won the European Cup in 1985 against Liverpool. He also won the 1984 UEFA Cup Winners Cup with Juventus along with three Serie A titles. Prandelli, similar to his predecessor, Marcello Lippi, was never capped for Italy.

Prandelli managed Atalanta, Lecce, Hellas Verona, Venezia, Parma, AS Roma and ACF Fiorentina. Although he did not win any silverware during his Serie A management career, Prandelli was highly respected in Italian calcio and won manager of the year honors three times.

Cesare Prandelli played with Michel Platini at Juventus in the mid 1980s

Cesare Prandelli played with Michel Platini at Juventus in the mid 1980s

During an interview with the Milan sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Prandelli outlined his priorities and opinions about the current state of Italian football.

“It’s the highest point of my career.”

E’ il punto più alto della mia carriera, non voglio pensare alle difficoltà, riparto dall’ottimismo. Ora la mia volontà e il mio impegno vanno nella direzione di raccogliere un’eredità anche positiva per ripartire da qui con ottimismo ed entusiasmo. Marcello Lippi, che per me resta il c.t. campione del Mondo, ha infatti lasciato due elementi importanti ormai connaturati alla squadra: la mentalità e l’attaccamento alla maglia.

Da qui partiremo per superare le difficoltà e programmare il futuro. Intanto ringrazio il presidente Abete per la scelta e il vice Albertini per l’accoglienza: già ieri ho avuto con tutto lo staff un incontro piacevole, mi auguro di riuscire a costruire una bella squadra anche fuori campo. Tutte le risorse umane sono fondamentali, sarà molto importante fare gruppo“.

“It’s the highest point of my career, and I don’t want to think of the difficulty. I start out with optimism. Now it is my desire and my task to go in the direction to assemble a positive inheritance to depart from here with optimism and enthusiasm. Marcello Lippi, who for me remains the World Cup winning manager, has in fact left two important elements already contained in the team: the mentality and attachment to the shirt.

From this point, we will depart to overcome the present difficulties and to program the future. I would like to thank Italian Federation President, Giancarlo Abete for choosing me and also the Vice President, Demetrio Albertini, for the welcome. Already yesterday, I had a pleasant meeting with all of the staff. I hope to be able to build a great side also off the pitch. All of the human elements are fundamental. It will be very important to construct a group.”

Coach or National Team Selector?

Sceglierò giocatori nei ruoli giusti, ovviamente allenandoli. La squadra deve avere una sua identità. Nel campionato italiano c’è grande competenza, molti arriveranno preparati anche tatticamente”.

“I will select players in the proper roles. Obviously, training them. The team must have its own identity. In the Serie A, there is great competence. Many will arrive prepared also in tactically.”

Cesare Prandelli spent the last five years with Fiorentina

Cesare Prandelli spent the last five years with Fiorentina

On the Group from South Africa

Del gruppo devo vedere chi ha le giuste motivazioni, io comunque cercherò di dargliene di nuove nei giorni in cui saremo insieme”.

“From the group, I need to see who has the right motivations. I, however, will look to give them new ones in the days which we will be together.”

On Pride

Ma noi italiani abbiamo un grande orgoglio, non vogliamo essere considerati persone di poco carattere. Vogliamo far vedere a tutti che quello che è accaduto in Sudafrica si è trattato solo di una parentesi. Ribalteremo le cose negative in positive, le qualità per fare bene le abbiamo. Non è tutto da buttare, c’è qualità ed esperienza”.

“But we Italians have great pride. We don’t want to be considered persons with little character. We want to make everyone see that what happened in South Africa should only be treated in parentheses. We will overturn the negative things into positive ones. We have the quality to do well. You don’t have to throw out everything. There is quality and experience.”

His Anticipated Playing Formation

Ogni allenatore ha in testa un modulo, io mi auguro di poter dare ai giocatori la possibilità di esprimersi al meglio nel proprio ruolo, senza la rigidità di un modulo prestabilito. Anche perché non abbiamo molto tempo…”.

“Each manager has a system in his head. I hope to be able to give the players the possibility to express themselves in the best way for their individual roles. Without the rigidity of a predetermined system of play. Also, because we don’t have much time…”

Antonio Cassano and Other Exiled Azzurri from the Lippi Era

Antonio Cassano led Sampdoria to a Champions League slot but was not fancied by Marcello Lippi. He is one of the most creative Italian players in circulation but has a volatile temper

Antonio Cassano led Sampdoria to a Champions League slot but was not fancied by Marcello Lippi. He is one of the most creative Italian players in circulation but has a volatile temper

Cassano? Non intendo fare i nomi dei convocati. Le convocazioni saranno fatte su basi meritocratiche, conta anche la dignità e il rispetto dei ruoli. Voglio proporre nazionale con giocatori di qualità, ci sono. I giocatori di qualità non dovrebbero mai trovare problemi a coesistere. Chiamerò chi lo merita, la maglia azzurra non è nè mia nè vostra, ma di tutti“.

“Cassano? I don’t intend to name any of my selections. The selections will be made on the basis of merit. Dignity and respect for roles also count. I want to put together a national team with quality players. They exist. Players of quality shouldn’t find problems to coexist. I will call up who merits it. The Italian shirt isn’t mine or yours but belongs to everyone.”

The Italian Youth Sector

Bisogna investire sui settori giovanili. Io sono convinto che ci siano ragazzi molto interessanti. I club però cercano il risultato veloce, ma sono certo che anche le grandi società torneranno a programmare a lunga scadenza rivalutando i talenti di casa”.

“You need to invest in the youth sectors. I am convinced that there are very interesting lads. Clubs, however, are looking for quick results. But I am certain that the great clubs will also return to program things on a long-term basis reevaluating the home-grown talent.”

For or Against Technology?

Favorevole. Sarebbe un deterrente alla violenza, abbasseremmo i toni e sarebbe anche molto spettacolare rivedere le azioni in campo”.

“I’m in favor. It would be a deterrent against violence. We will lower the tones and it would also be very spectacular to replay action on the pitch.”

Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, July 1, 2010.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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One Response

  1. rob 16 July, 2010