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Marchisio: Italy will overcome off-field drama

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2012

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Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio is adamant the recent match-fixing allegations will not affect his side during Euro 2012.

Italian football has been rocked by reports of match-fixing in recent months, just six years after the Calciopoli scandal ended and numerous clubs received punishments, including Juventus being stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B.

Marchisio, who plays for Juventus, admitted Italy’s squad for Euro 2012 had been talking about the ongoing scandal, but said it would not distract them from the European Championships, which start on Saturday.

“It was impossible not to talk about the match-fixing scandal,” Marchisio said.

“It was on every newspaper, so we talked about the matter and what annoys us in particular is that it is not the whole football world that is portrayed by the scandal.

“We’ll wait for the sentences and it’s fair that those who committed the crimes will pay for that.

“The only thing we can do is wait and trust that justice will give them stiff sentences, so that it will be harder to have the same situation again in Italian football.

“Aside from this, we are all great professionals and we all want to play an excellent European Championship.”

Marchisio also urged calm following the 3-0 friendly defeat to Russia, which was Italy’s only warm-up match before Euro 2012 starts in Poland and Ukraine.

“We obviously analysed the game and there were positives aspects,” Marchisio said.

“After two great years and with our excellent qualifying campaigns, such a defeat right before the beginning of the cup needs to be analysed carefully.

“But we need to remain calm, because we are strong, we are a close-knit group, and we know what needs to be improved and we also know what we have to do in order to achieve that.”

Reports have suggested Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will play a three-man defence at Euro 2012.

Marchisio said the players would handle whatever tactics Prandelli chooses.

“Some players are used to playing with a three-man defence and five in the midfield and others have never played with such a system,” the 26-year-old midfielder said.

“But it’s up to the coach to make that decision and the team will have to follow him in any decision he makes.”

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