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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke

Prandelli hails 'positive tournament'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli praised his team after clinching third place at the Confederations Cup as they defeated Uruguay on penalties.

Prandelli's men ended the match locked at 2-2, but came out on top following a tense shootout, leaving the coach to hail the spirit and effort of his players.

"It is a more than positive tournament because this team showed great character. On 30 June after a long season these lads were so generous," Prandelli told Sky Sport Italia.

"We deserved this result with some good performances and have been getting more consistent as time went on. For the first time in my career I couldn't figure out what to do, as eight players wanted to be substituted.

"We suffered, stayed in the game and then the penalties are always a bit of a lottery."

Buffon saved three spot-kicks during the shoot-out, including one from Walter Gargano which sealed victory for the Azzurri.

"In Italy people say so many ridiculous things. Penalties can be saved or not, but the problem is that people assume it's easy to save a spot-kick," continued Prandelli.

"Gigi is a great goalkeeper who again proved tonight how much he cares about the shirt."

Despite his individual heroics, Buffon opted to share praise with his team-mates as they ended the tournament on a positive note.

"It's a moment for us to be proud, because we did well in a very difficult match," he said.

"It would've been harder if we didn't show this type of character on the pitch. We suffered a lot during the match, but this outcome made it worthwhile and I was able to give my best for the team.

"We honoured our place in the football world the best way we could. It's a miracle we're here now. We managed not to lose, and this is very positive."


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