There has been a lot of speculation about the future of Cesare Prandelli as the national team manager of Italy. It is rumoured that Prandelli is ready to step down from his role at the end of the 2014 World Cup, as he is keen to enter into club football once again. The former Roma and Fiorentina manager is one of the most wanted men in football. The likes of Juventus are interested in hiring him, but Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete has confirmed that he wants to keep Prandelli beyond the 2014 World Cup.

Prandelli has done extremely well in his role as the Italian national team manager. Italy were in a poor state when he took over in 2010, but it has managed to guide them to the finals of the Euro 2012. He has also reduced the age of the squad during this period. Italy also came close to winning the Confederations cup in the summer. After three years at the international level, Prandelli is thought to miss club football that involves day-to-day work. Abete, though, has said that he is very happy with the work done by Prandelli so far and he would like to retain him beyond the 2014 World Cup.

“I like a lot of coaches. However, I like Prandelli more than anyone else. I hope that he stays as the head coach after Brazil 2014. If our relationship doesn’t continue then I won’t speak with any other coaches until Prandelli’s departure is made official,” Abete told Sky Sport. “There is no truth in the thinking that we are looking for a new coach. The Cesare Prandelli rumours are without foundation,” said Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta in response to the rumours linking Juventus with a move for Cesare Prandelli after the World Cup.


The Italian national team manager Cesare Prandelli has said that Antonio Cassano is not fully fit at the moment and it is one of the main reasons for omitting the Inter Milan striker from the squad that will face two World Cup qualifying matches. The former AC Milan striker recently completed a move to the arch rivals Inter Milan. However, after recovering from a heart problem last season, the striker is only now returning to full fitness according to the Italian national team manager. The Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is also absent from the squad.

Italy will be playing against Bulgaria and Malta in the first two World Cup qualifying matches. Cesare Prandelli has said that it is vital that the nation start the campaign with a win in order to carry confidence over the course of the remaining qualifying matches that will take place over a period of two years. Prandelli has said that the team is still evolving in terms of the formation and has hinted that he is likely to use a different formation in this match. The Napoli player Lorenzo Insigne is one of the few young players given a chance to impress with the national team.

“Cassano has said that he is currently only at 50-60 per cent and, at this moment, I don’t have time to recover players because we need to win games to qualify. He just has to re-find his form, then there will only be tactical decisions to make. I can’t take any risks in these qualifying games with players who are not in perfect physical condition. There is a lot at stake here,” said Prandelli ahead of the match with Bulgaria. Roma’s Pablo Osvaldo and the new AC Milan striker Giampaolo Pazzini are the new faces included in the squad.