Prandelli sounds like every other coach

Italy's national soccer team coach Cesare Prandelli attends a news conference before their training...

Italy's national soccer team coach Cesare Prandelli attends a news conference before their training session at the Dunas Arena soccer stadium in Natal June 23, 2014. Italy will face Uruguay on June 24. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Rio de Janeiro—It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise because sports is universal but it’s fascinating to know that no matter what language coaches use, it seems they can’t help but utter the same time worn adages.

Italy and Uruguay will play for the right to move to the next round of the World Cup Tuesday in Natal.

Uruguay must win. Italy only needs a tie to join Costa Rica in the knockout stage.

Regardless of what happens, the World Cup will lose another team that was expected to challenge for a championship.

When you listen to what Italian coach Cesare Prandelli says about the game, you could insert the name of a hundred coaches in five different sports on seven continents and they would say the same thing in this situation.

“When we held the draw (for the tournament), we would have signed up to play for qualification in the last game,” Prandelli was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport, an Italian newspaper.

Or maybe they’d say this?

“We have to stay positive,” he said.

Or this . . .

“If at the start of the tournament we could have known that all we had to do was tie a game to qualify, we would have taken it.”

One can bet though that at the start of the tournament he didn’t count on losing to Costa Rica and having to deal with Uruguay to move on.

Then again, you can bet that Uruguay didn’t think they’d lose 3-1 to Costa Rica and have to play Italy to survive.

Prandelli said he’s having a difficult time waiting for the game to come around.

“There is no comparison (to other eves of games) because this is the most important game of my career,” he said.

He finds no comfort in knowing that all his team needs is a tie to advance.

“We are not capable of stepping on the pitch and playing for a tie,” he said. “We will play for the win. We don’t want to get scored on but if it happens, we have to immediately be brave and get it back quickly.”

The Italians do have a major problem; make those two major problems, in the form of Uruguay strikers’ Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Suarez wasn’t available for the Costa Rica game, but that didn’t stop him from scoring twice and blitzing England. Cavani and Suarez together are a duo that strikes fear into any opposing team.

“They are one of the strongest pair of attackers in this World Cup,” Prandelli said. “They have a sense for the goal and are especially difficult to control when they take the ball deep.”

Prandelli wants his club to play as competitively as Uruguay will. That will take a great physical effort but the Italian coach, who felt his team looked tired against Costa Rica, says the Italians have recovered physically and will be able to play with the same intensity he expects from Uruguay.

As for whom he’ll put up front, Prandelli isn’t saying but most people believe Mario Balotelli will be paired with Ciro Immobile.

Prandelli was quick to point out though that at the end of the Costa Rica game, he had four strikers on the field and they did nothing.

“It doesn’t matter how many attackers you have,” Prandelli said. “You have to have the will to win.”

Spoken like every other coach in every sport around the world.


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