Cesare Prandelli expects a tough World Cup after Italy were drawn alongside Uruguay, England and Costa Rica in Group D.
The Italian coach insisted that he was happy with the draw, despite it placing them alongside two other nations ranked inside the top 12 of FIFA’s world rankings.
Italy were the side moved from pot four into pot two at the start of the draw, and although that brings a tough challenge against two former winners, the 56-year-old remains confident that they can progress to the knockout stages.
“We don’t have to be angry because of the draw, we’re at the World Cup and we must be happy,” he said.
“Usually, when Italy is in a tough group, it always work out.
“The toughest opponent? Costa Rica, because we don’t know them.”
Italy will face England in their opening fixture in Manaus on June 14, and despite the heat in the most northerly city to host a game, Prandelli believes that his squad will be able to handle the conditions.
He added: “Last year we experienced the Confederations Cup, so we already know all the problems: heat, distances, and so on. I’ll need 23 footballers, I’ll need 23 athletes.”