Diamanti criticises Prandelli over World Cup snub

The attacking midfielder was not happy with the former Azzurri coach's decision to exclude him from the squad that travelled to the tournament in Brazil earlier this summer
Alessandro Diamanti has hit out at former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli and defended his decision to move to the Chinese Super League.

Diamanti signed for Guangzhou Evergrande in February and, despite having scored five goals in 23 games for the Chinese club, the 31-year-old has not played for Italy since.

The former Bologna attacking midfielder was part of Prandelli's squads for Euro 2012 and the 2013 Confederations Cup but missed out on a spot at this year's World Cup in Brazil, with many pundits claiming it was due to Diamanti's decision to play in China.

But in the lead-up to Wednesday's AFC Champions League quarter-final first leg against Western Sydney Wanderers, Diamanti defended his choice and claimed he would do it again even if Prandelli had expressly warned him it would jeopardise his international career.

"If he [Prandelli] thought that I missed the World Cup simply because I play in China, I didn't care," he told FIFA.com.

"I think I am lucky as I have made the right decision [in coming to China]. Had I been asked to again determine where to go, I would still choose China.

"Every match is highly contested. It is not easy to play against the tough opposition and win matches.

"As a player, you have to keep fit and maintain form if you want to get a good result. You should work very hard."

Prandelli resigned as Italy manager after Italy failed to get out of the group stage in Brazil.