Prandelli 'convinced' Italy will face Spain at World Cup

The Azzurri boss has no doubts that his side will come face-to-face with their Euro 2012 vanquishers this summer, so did not want a friendly versus them beforehand
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has revealed that he did not want to face Spain in a friendly on Wednesday as he is "convinced" that the two nations will collide at this summer's World Cup.

The pair clashed twice at Euro 2012, playing out a 1-1 draw in the group stage before la Roja claimed the trophy with a resounding 4-0 victory in the final.

Consequently, Prandelli feels that there is little to be gained by tackling Vicente del Bosque's men again so soon before a World Cup in which they could run into one another in the semi-finals.

"We will face a strong team, which is being renewed without any drop in the quality of their play," he told reporters at the unveiling of their new PUMA kit in Milan.

"It would have been better not to play this game, in my opinion, but organisers imposed it upon us.

"I didn't want to play it because I'm convinced of progressing in the World Cup and I'm convinced that we will meet again then."

Prandelli is also concerned that Italy's fans will read too much into the outcome of Wednesday's friendly at the Vicente Calderon.

"In Italy, because of the way we are, the result counts for so much," he mused. "If we win on Wednesday, everyone will think that we're already in the semi-finals of the World Cup! If we lose, it'll be a disaster.

"Of course, if we draw it will have served no purpose."

Meanwhile, Prandelli reiterated that he has yet to decide if he will remain on as Italy coach after the World Cup but confirmed that he is set to imminently discuss his future with the football federation.

"We'll talk further about my contract in the middle of March," he revealed. "But I'm happy here."

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