Italy coach Cesare Prandelli consoling his players. (Reuters)
Fortaleza: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said his team had proved they were on par with Spain after a 6-7 penalty shootout loss to the world Champions here, reports Xinhua. The Confederations Cup semi-final defeat on Thursday came almost a year after Spain routed the Azzurri 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final.
"It is clear that there is no longer a gap between the teams. I am proud of my players. Today we showed Italy's soul. We haven't always been able to play this way and it's important now that we maintain this form. We will leave the tournament knowing that we can have great results in the future," Prandelli said.
Italy will on Sunday play off for third place against Uruguay in Salvador. Prandelli criticised the tournament's fixture saying his team would not have enough time to recover.
"I think the schedule needs to be revised. I don't even know if we are going to train before the match against Uruguay. We have a day less to prepare and then a long trip ahead," Prandelli said.