Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni
said his native Italy could go all the way and win Euro 2012
after his side's nightmare Group C campaign ended with a third
straight defeat in a 2-0 loss to the Azzurri.
"If certain strong sides are going home, this means that
Italy have the quality to go right through to the end of the
tournament," he told a news conference.
Trapattoni said Ireland had regained some pride with their
performance after wilting in a 3-1 defeat by Croatia and 4-0
reverse to Spain.
"I think this evening we played much better than the games
against Spain and Croatia. We played with more personality,
credibility, commitment," the Italian surmised, adding that
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had said Ireland had troubled them.
Trapattoni, who also suffered the disappointment of an early
exit as Italy coach at Euro 2004, said the first-half goal by
Antonio Cassano effectively ended the game not the 90th-minute
second from Mario Balotelli.
"The first 20 or 30 minutes we played well, we had our
possibility to score, [but] after one goal the game was already
finished," he said.
He also revealed that some unnamed Ireland players had
approached him about plans to retire from international
football, but that he would be advising them to wait a while
before making a decision.
"Now is too early, [but] I can also say to you that I spoke
just now with one or two. We'll see again in the next friendly
game in August," Trapattoni said.
"Maybe in this moment they are disappointed. This is in the
air, [so maybe it is better for them if] they wait to see what
Whatever happens about the futures of players such as Robbie
Keane, the 73-year-old said that despite the disappointment and
criticism of his tactics and team selection, he intends to
remain in the job for the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
"[I have a] willingness to believe again, because I am
sure we have fresh energy in this new squad and we can do
better. I wait... to start again in the new season," he remarked.
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