Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni has backed Cesare Prandelli’s side to pull off a shock victory against Spain at Euro 2012 on Sunday.
Vicente del Bosque’s talent-laden world champions are widely expected to pick up an easy win over the crisis-hit Azzurri side, whose preparations have been affected by the controversies of the recent Scommessopoli match-fixing scandal.
However, Donadoni, whose reign in charge of his country was ended by a penalty shootout defeat to Spain in Euro 2008, believes the current crop of Italy players are more than capable of defying the odds by taking the game to the Spaniards.
“We can beat Xavi, Iniestia and co. by attacking,” Donadoni, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Spain are as strong as they were four years ago, but they have more responsibility.
“Better to face them now. The friendly last August (where Italy beat Spain 2-1) showed that Spain suffer when you attack them.”
Looking back to the quarter-final defeat to Luis Aragones’ eventual champions in Vienna four years ago, the 48-year-old, who is now in charge of Parma, maintains that his side held their own on the day and were unlucky losers.
“Spain weren’t so superior to Italy that day, but the rest is just a question of ifs and buts,” he said.
Under the tutelage of former coach Marcello Lippi, Italy floundered at the 2010 World Cup, but has experienced a reversal of fortunes under Prandelli.
And Donadoni admits that he is a fan of the former Fiorentina coach.
“I like Prandelli’s ideas of football. My project aimed to do something similar, but I didn’t have the time to finish it,” he said.
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