Alessandro Diamanti, who came back to haunt doubting English
fans with the winning penalty in their Euro 2012 quarter-final,
is unlikely to have done enough to grab a starting spot in the
The former West Ham United player, who spent one season in
England in 2009/10 before asking to go back to Italy, also hit
the post during a sparkling substitute appearance in the 0-0
draw with England in Kiev which preceded the shootout.
However, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli indicated he was a
long way from starting Thursday's semi-final with Germany given
the importance of Antonio Cassano's inventiveness and Riccardo
Montolivo's work ethic to help the more creative Andrea Pirlo.
"When you think of Diamanti, you have to think of replacing [Antonio] Cassano and Montolivo. All the balls that
Pirlo touched were in part thanks to Montolivo," Prandelli told
reporters on Monday.
The coach has said in the past that Diamanti, who joined
Brescia from West Ham but now plays for Serie A side Bologna,
could play as a second striker but he seems averse to changing
the forward line too much for the Warsaw clash.
Mario Balotelli put in an impressive display of hard work
against England although his shooting was wayward.
"I liked his display a lot because he did what I asked him
to do. Obviously, with four or five chances he lacked luck and
conviction. But his performance was very, very sufficient,"
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