Prandelli 'optimistic' over World Cup chances

The Italy boss says he is confident ahead of Brazil next year and is thankful for the nod of approval from one of football's most influential men
Cesare Prandelli has declared that he is "optimistic" over the potential of Italy lifting the World Cup in 2014.

Uefa president Michel Platini said earlier this week that Italy could triumph in Brazil next summer while the coach revealed that he is excited about some of his squad's players.

 “I'm pretty optimistic," the 55-year-old coach told Rai Sport.

“We have at least five or six really interesting players – both for the technical values and their spirit when wearing the national team jersey.

“Platini said we can win? I'm grateful for that, but all I'm thinking about at the moment is qualification."

The Azzurri are top of World Cup qualifying in Group B, three points ahead of second-placed Bulgaria with a game in hand.

Their next game is against the Czech Republic before Prandelli takes his team to Brazil in June where they are set to compete in the Confederations Cup.

The Italians are joined by Japan, Mexico and holders Brazil in Group A.