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Prandelli counting on Cassano

SoccerNews in European Championships, Serie A 3 Sep 2010

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said Friday he was pinning his hopes on Sampdoria’s talented forward Antonio Cassano.

Italy play Estonia in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Tallinn later on Friday with a much changed side from the one that was humiliated at the World Cup a couple of months ago.

And the former Fiorentina coach believes the 28-year-old Cassano, who was not part of predecessor Marcello Lippi’s plans, is the one who can make his team tick.

“I expect Cassano to be lethal in one-on-one situations, the team have to play for him and he must play for the team,” he told Rai TV.

Prandelli also expressed his belief that in the long run 24-year-old Luca Cigarini, a Napoli player on loan at Sevilla, could be the man to replace playmaker Andrea Pirlo when he hangs up his boots.

“When he was at Parma he was in the under-21 set-up and we called him the professor,” said Prandelli of Cigarini.

“He’s developing a lot in Spain but Pirlo is tying my hands: other than having great technique, he’s also a great professional.”

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