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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Germany 1 - Italy 1: "I would have a friendly ever year with an opponent like this."

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Azzurri manager, Cesare Prandelli.


Cesare Prandelli released his roster for the Wednesday friendly against Germany in Dortmund. This will be the first encounter of the year for the Azzurri. Euro 2012 qualifiers will resume in March, and this German friendly should provide Prandelli with a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of his current team.

Historical Encounters

Germany or West Germany has never defeated Italy in a competitive match. Germany has beaten the Azzurri in a few friendlies over the years. Both nations have experienced three epic games at the World Cup:
  • 1970 World Cup semi-final in Mexico won by Italy in extra time, 4 x 3.



  • 1982 World Cup final in Spain won by Italy 3 x 1.



  • 2006 World Cup semi-final in Germany won by Italy, 0 x 2 in extra time.


Azzurri Roster

Portieri/Goalkeepers:
Buffon (Juventus), Sirigu (Palermo), Viviano (Bologna).

Difensori/Defenders: Astori (Cagliari), Bonucci (Juventus), Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Genoa), Maggio (Napoli), Ranocchia (Inter).

Centrocampisti/Midfielders: Aquilani (Juventus), De Rossi (Roma), Giovinco (Parma), Mauri (Lazio), (Sampdoria), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Nocerino (Palermo), Thiago Motta (Inter)., Palombo (Sampdoria).

Attaccanti/Strikers: Borriello (Roma), Cassano (Milan), Matri (Juventus), Pazzini (Inter), Rossi (Villarreal).

Roster courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, 6 February 2011.

Three New Faces and a Legend
  • Sebastian Giovinco
  • Alessandro Matri
  • Thiago Motta (naturalized from Brazil.)
  • Gigi Buffon makes his debut during the Prandelli era.
Juventus Nucleus with an Inter Milan Influence
  • Five Juve players lead the way.
  • Internazionale placed three players on the roster for the first time in years.
  • Two AS Roma players and one from AC Milan are present.
Prandelli Before the Game

"E’ sempre una sfida affascinante. Farei ogni anno un’amichevole con avversari così. Certo che adesso abbiamo parecchi giocatori fuori causa per infortunio".

On this luxury friendly:
"It will always be a fascinating challenge. I would have a friendly every year with an opponent like this. Surely we now have a few players unavailable due to injuries."

RICORDI — "La partita del secolo per me è stata quella nel 1970 con i tedeschi, in Messico. Mi svegliarono di notte per vederla. La finale mondiale del 1982 vedeva protagonisti in campo tanti amici, la semifinale del 2006 ha invece coinvolto tutti, gli azzurri di Lippi hanno giocato un calcio fantastico".

On his memories of past German games:

"The game of the century for me was the one in 1970 with the Germans in Mexico. I stayed up all night to watch it. The World Cup final in 1982 saw many of my friends become protagonists on the field. The semi-final in 2006 instead involved everyone. The team managed by Marcello Lippi played fantastic football."

THIAGO MOTTA — "Lo stavamo seguendo anche quando Pirlo era disponibile, non è una sua alternativa. Vogliamo un centrocampo tecnico, di qualità, e lui rientra in questi parametri. Può giocare sia da playmaker basso che da interno di centrocampo".

On Thiago Motta:

"We have been following him even when Andrea Pirlo was available. He is not his replacement. We want a technical midfield with quality and he enters into these parameters. He can play either a low playmaker or in the middle."

(Prandelli has often stated his desire to have a very flexible and creative midfield to provide more options and confuse his opponents.)

On Alessandro Matri:

"Lo seguivamo anche prima che passasse alla Juventus. E’ un finalizzatore, ma sa anche giocare largo".
"We also tracked him before he transferred to Juventus. He is a finisher but also knows how to play out wide."
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 7 February 2011.

Starting XI

Italy: 4-3-1-2

Buffon (capt)
Cassani, Ranocchia, Bonucci, Chiellini
Thiago Motta, Mauri, De Rossi
Montolivo
Cassano, Pazzini

Manager: Mr. Prandelli

Germany: 4-2-3-1

Neuer
Lahm (capt), Mertesacker, Badstuber, Aogo
Khedira, Schweinsteiger
Mueller, Ozil, Podolski
Klose

Manager: Mr. Loew

Match Official: Mr. Raaar

Scoring Summary


Klose 16' with assists by Ozil and Mueller.

G. Rossi 81' assisted by Criscito.

Prandelli After the Game

"Stiamo crescendo sotto tanti punti di vista: il pareggio è giusto. La sconfitta sarebbe stata una beffa. Questi ragazzi hanno qualità: se mettono in campo anche ordine tattico, è facile produrre buone prestazioni. Abbiamo giocato una buona partita: più intensità nel secondo tempo, ma anche nel primo abbiamo avuto le nostre occasioni".
"We are growing under many points of reference. The tie was fair. A defeat would have been a mockery. These lads have quality. If they line up on the pitch properly in a tactical sense, it's easy to produce good presentations. We played a good game. More intensity in the second half but also in the first half we had our chances."
Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 9 February 2011.



Match Statistics

Germany 1 x Italy 1

12(3) Shots (on Goal) 13(6)
16 Fouls 11
7 Corner Kicks 4
0 Offsides 2
58% Time of Possession 43%
0 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
5 Saves 2

Statistics courtesy of ESPN SoccerNet.

A great source for daily Serie A and Azzurri news is Italian Soccer Serie A by Anna Italia.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He is the founder of World Football Commentaries. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Italian Soccer Serie A, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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