Soccer-Euro-Prandelli says continuing Azzurri adventure
KIEV, July 1
KIEV, July 1 (Reuters) - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said he would continue in charge of the Azzurri despite the setback of Sunday's 4-0 defeat to Spain in the final of Euro 2012.
Prior to the final Prandelli had suggested he would consider his future after the tournament and had raised issues about his quality of life and the lack of attention paid to the national team outside of major tournaments.
But after his tired team were convincingly beaten by world champions Spain, Prandelli, who has a contract until 2014, struck a more positive tone over his future.
"My future is already determined, even on a few occasions my mood was a bit, well, how it was," he said.
"I don't have any problem with the Federation or with its leadership. I have an excellent relationship with them. There is a project and we want to take it forward," he said.
The former Parma and Fiorentina coach, who took over from Marcello Lippi two years ago, said the loss in the final had actually helped him make up his mind.
"Of course in my choice, this defeat is also a factor, the impossibility of leaving like this," he said.
"This is a fascinating project, difficult but fascinating," he said, adding that he would meet with Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete in the coming days.
Prandelli said he was proud of the performances from his team at the tournament, which they had entered with few expectations after a poor World Cup two years ago and some unimpressive pre-tournament form as well as a domestic match-fixing scandal.
"We deserve an eight out of ten overall, " he said when asked to rank the team's displays.
"We started the tournament with a few problems, we had Spain in our group, I think we have played some terrific games but above all I think we struggled to get back to fitness (for the final) unfortunately.
"The lads showed that if you have team spirit you can chase your dream. They worked hard for one another, showed you can lose with dignity and they have been able to react to difficulties.
"I am very proud of my team," he said.
Prandelli was warmly applauded by Italian media at the end of his press conference and responded by clapping back at the reporters. (Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Patrick Graham)
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