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Soccer: Italy considering space attire for World Cup

Prandelli confirms players for be banned from Twitter in Brazil

05 February, 17:17
Soccer: Italy considering space attire for World Cup (By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) - Rome, February 5 - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has said the national team is considering using space attire at this summer's World Cup to help deal with the challenges posed by the Brazilian climate.

The Azzurri will start their campaign on June 14 in Manaus, a city in the middle of the Amazon rain forest, before travelling around 1,450 km to the Atlantic coast for their other two group games, against Costa Rica and Uruguay, in Recife and Natal respectively. There have been reports the Italian squad may wear clothing used by astronauts to attenuate effects of the sharp changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure they are likely to face. "We are evaluating everything," Prandelli said in an interview published Wednesday by Rome-based daily La Repubblica when asked about the possibility of space attire.

"It's important to try to create homogeneous climatic conditions".

Prandelli said he has also been talking to former Italy boss Arrigo Sacchi and former midfielder Demetrio Albertini, who is now vice president of the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC), about their experiences of such rapid changes in climate at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

He added that the Confederations Cup, when his side saw how demanding the Brazilian heat could be after a long domestic campaign, was "an extremely precious experience".

"It had never happened to me before to have eight players out of 11 ask to be substituted (as it did in one game last year)," Prandelli said.

"Now we know that during the game there may be significant oscillations in performance and that you should not get spooked by it". Italy came third at the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Prandelli added that Italy will make an official request for time-outs to be allowed for players to take on fluids during the World Cup, saying that otherwise sides may end up deliberately kicking the ball off the field to be able to have a drink.

He confirmed that he will allow his players to take their families with them to the World Cup, in a break with tradition that was tried out in Brazil last year.

"All new things wrong-foot the bigots and conservatives," said the 56-year-old former Fiorentina and Parma boss.

"The experience at the Confederations Cup worked really well.

"Families and children will ease the tension".

He also confirmed that players will be banned from using social media like Twitter at the World Cup.

"Social media represent the future. It's just that any message via Web becomes universal at the World Cup," Prandelli said.

"So those who need to say something in that period will do so in press conferences". The move comes after Prandelli's star striker, Mario Balotelli, sparked one of a long series of furores last year with a controversial tweet appearing to distance himself from a role attributed to him as a symbol in the fight against organised crime.

Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi, who is currently sidelined by a knee injury but who Prandelli hopes to have back for the World Cup, said taking Twitter away from him would make him "suffer a little". Prandelli took over a national team in disarray after Italy's embarrassing group-stage exit at the 2010 World Cup.

He rejuvenated the side and managed to get them playing an attractive offensive style, even though the current squad has fewer stars than teams of the past.

He still has a few top players to count on though, including goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, playmaker Andrea Pirlo and Balotelli.

The positive approach enabled Italy to reach the final of Euro 2012 and Prandelli said he will stick to it in Brazil.

"We have to aim for the maximum if we're not going to have any regrets," he said.

"Years of work are going into this. We have to go out to win".