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The Juventus midfielder was pleased with the gritty display from the Azzurri against the Boys in Green, but warned that a completely different challenge awaits his side

Claudio Marchisio has expressed his satisfaction with Italy's 2-0 win over Republic of Ireland as he feels Cesare Prandelli's men showed character to bag the full three points.

"It was tough, especially the last minute when we were waiting for the result from the other match, but then it finished very well for us," Marchisio stated to

The Azzurri booked their ticket for the quarterfinals following Monday's results in Group C, and the Juventus midfielder believes the crucial stage of Euro 2012 starts now.

"Now a new tournament begins for us, after an up-and-down round which was half very good and half so-so," Marchisio said.

"But we got through this group stage, which wasn't easy, with Spain, Croatia and Ireland, who even though they were already out of the tournament gave everything they could against us. So great credit to this team, who showed big character in a crucial game."

Italy will take on the winners of Group D in its quarterfinal clash. has a new podcast! Goal Daily Podcast is a MUST for all Soccer fans and discusses the very latest news and views. What’s more when you sign up the service is FREE for the first month and you can cancel anytime.