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 Posted by Ben Gladwell
Jun 26, 2014

Prandelli urged to stay on as Italy boss

ESPN FC's Leonardo Bertozzi discusses the resignations of Cesare Prandelli and Giancarlo Abete and what it means to Italian football.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-president Demetrio Albertini says he will try to convince Cesare Prandelli to stay on as coach of the national team, although Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago wants to see wholesale changes implemented.

- Horncastle: Where it went wrong for Italy
- Marcotti: Prandelli's abandoned philosophy

Former AC Milan defender Albertini, one of the leading candidates to replace Giancarlo Abete as FIGC president following his decision to step down, is trying to look on the positive side of Italy's premature World Cup exit and believes Prandelli is not entirely to blame.

Should he be elected as FIGC chief, he says he would talk to Prandelli -- who chose to resign from his role as Azzurri coach -- in a bid to convince him to honour the remaining two years of a contract he signed immediately prior to the World Cup.

"I wouldn't disregard the words of Abete when he said that he will try to convince the coach to rethink his decision," Albertini told the FIGC's official website. "The overall record of these four years is positive, even though we have been knocked out in the group stage.

"In 2010, we started from scratch after a World Cup like this one. I hope we don't have to start over again, but that we can instead build on the good things we have done. We've always got to be optimistic and we've got to try to see the glass half-full while not disregarding the half-empty side of that glass."

However, the only way forward as far as Malago is concerned is a complete overhaul of Italian football, from grass roots through to a new FIGC president who does not have any history with the governing body.

"The ideal candidate for president would be somebody external," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He has to be a strong man, new and precise -- somebody who can keep pace with the times that are changing.

"We need to turn the page under all aspects. This is year zero for Calcio. These problems have been on the horizon -- we can't say we didn't see them coming. The wind is changing and if you don't realise that, then it means you must be living in a different country.

"A defeat like this one will lead us in a new direction, I'm convinced. After defeats like this, you have got to know how to lift yourself up and not repeat the same mistakes again. I hope common sense prevails. To do better, we need the best people."

Malago, did though, reserve praise for Prandelli and Abete for assuming their part of the responsibility following Italy's World Cup failure.

"That's not something that usually happens in our country so you've got to appreciate them for it," he added. "I feel [Prandelli] is a strong man, a real man, because he assumes every responsibility. He deserves a lot of respect and I have paid him my compliments."

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