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Soccer: Prandelli says Italy-Spain gulf 'embarrassing'

Coach bemoans difference in fitness levels

06 March, 11:07
Soccer: Prandelli says Italy-Spain gulf 'embarrassing' (ANSA) - Rome, March 6 - Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli said he was alarmed at the gulf in fitness levels between his side and Spain after Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to the world and European champions in Madrid.

Barcelona's Pedro Rodríguez's fired home the winner in the 63rd minute but the scoreline did not reflect the superiority the hosts enjoyed on the night.

"We've seen that at the moment our fitness level compared to theirs is almost embarrassing," Prandelli after his final friendly before he names his squad for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

"We'll have to work hard because if you want to play fast football, you have to regain intensity too. "We didn't have the energy that they have at the moment.

"Spain are better than us at the moment, but we never gave up.

"Now I'll have to assess things, although I don't have much time to think".

Two of the positive points for Prandelli were the performances of Torino forward Alessio Cerci and of Parma defender Gabriel Paletta on his Azzurri debut. Paletta, 29, is a naturalised Italian who won the 2005 Under-20 World Cup with his native Argentina.

"Paletta gave a great performance," said Prandelli.