Euro 2012: Italy’s Cesare Prandelli worried by ‘terrible’ loss to Russia

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli hopes his side will improve at Euro 2012 after the Azzurri's 3-0 defeat by Russia in Zurich

mario balotelli
Mario Balotelli played the entire 90 minutes of Italy's defeat by Russia Photo: kelvingillmor.com

mario balotelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli admitted his squad’s preparations for Euro 2012 have not gone according to plan after the Azzurri suffered a “terrible” 3-0 defeat by Russia in a friendly on Friday night.

Defender Domenico Criscito was dropped from Prandelli’s squad during the week after the Zenit Saint Petersburg star was arrested by Italian police amid the lastest match-fixing scandal to hit the country.

Italy only conceded two goals in qualifying for Poland and Ukraine, but Alexander Kerzhakov’s strike and Roman Shirokov’s brace sealed a convincing victory for Russia in Zurich, leaving Prandelli concerned about his side’s chances at the European championship.

The four-time World Cup winners face holders Spain in their opening group game in Group C, followed by ties against Croatia and the Republic of Ireland.

“Honestly, it has been a terrible night,” Prandelli said. “I hope it is the last and we can do much better in the next game.

“A lot of things have not gone the way we wanted and we really wanted to do well before we started the European Championship.

“We still have a few days to improve. Our minds are on the Euros and not on what has happened this week.

“We have to understand where we went wrong and try not to make the same mistakes. It’s clear that we cannot play the way we did against a strong team like Spain is.

“We have made many mistakes and we hope that we have used them all.

“Russia were better than us physically, from an intensity and temperament point of view.

“Perhaps losing in this manner can help us as we return to work in order to improve.”

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