Italy coach Cesare Prandelli claims his side may need an extra ball on the pitch if they are to overcome Spain in their Confederations Cup semi-final.
Prandelli’s men face Vicente del Bosque’s in-form side today in a repeat of the final of Euro 2012, and the 55-year-old is under no illusions as to how difficult it will be to play against a Roja side who dominate possession.
“To beat Spain you may have to bring another ball and play with two on the pitch,” he joked to reporters.
“Getting the ball off them is extremely difficult. Let’s be clear: Spain are the best team in the world and continue to prove it. At times they are almost impossible to beat.
“Playing them gives me the desire to dare, to try something different and think of tactical innovations.”
Italy have looked defensively shaky during the tournament thus far, having shipped eight goals in their group games, but Prandelli insists he is more concerned with playing with attacking flair than a miserly defence.
“Four of the eight goals we’ve conceded should not have been given,” he continued.
“We’ve scored eight goals because we came to play good football, not to defend.”
Prandelli is also pleased that his side have grown accustomed to the hot and humid conditions in Brazil ahead of the World Cup finals in 2014, but admits it will be crucial for his players to be fresh next summer.
“The Confederations Cup has taught us that, in a year, we will need not just 23 footballers in the squad but 23 athletes,” he continued.
“If players arrive next summer with an empty tank it will be very difficult,” he added.