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Ancelotti favours key duo for Italy

SoccerNews in European Championships 8 Jun 2012

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Carlo Ancelotti believes Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is lucky to have both Andrea Pirlo and Thiago Motta as his midfield options.

Former Chelsea manager Ancelotti worked with Pirlo during their time together at AC Milan, and is coaching Brazil-born midfielder Thiago Motta at Paris Saint-Germain.

The 52-year-old coach believes the two players complement one another well, and could form a fruitful partnership for their country during Euro 2012.

“If Thiago Motta was at Milan when I was there, then I would have always used him alongside Andrea Pirlo,” Ancelotti told Corriere Dello Sport.

“Cesare Prandelli’s decision is perfect. Thiago can play anywhere in midfield, including to the left of a strong central player like Pirlo.

“Motta has brought intelligence, personality, experience and a desire to win with him to PSG. He’s a great professional and he’s formidable at breaking into space from midfield.”

Italy begin their Euro 2012 campaign with a eagerly anticipated fixture against reigning champions Spain, and Ancelotti feels Prandelli’s men have what it takes to go all the way in Poland and Ukraine.

“We won’t begin the game against Spain as a beaten side,” he said.

“I know how it will end: they’ll keep the ball, and we’ll hit them on the break.

“Italy can get to the final, even if everything will have to go right. Spain became Spain four years ago by beating Italy on penalties in the last eight. It doesn’t take a lot to change history.”

Italy will also have to contend with Croatia and Republic of Ireland in Group C.

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