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EURO team camps: 5 June

Published: Tuesday 5 June 2012, 22.30CET
There was a bright omen as Spain jetted in for their title defence on Tuesday while the Dutch players opened a Krakow mini-pitch and there was fighting talk in Greece's camp.
EURO team camps: 5 June
The Spain squad prepare to depart for UEFA EURO 2012 ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 5 June 2012, 22.30CET

EURO team camps: 5 June

There was a bright omen as Spain jetted in for their title defence on Tuesday while the Dutch players opened a Krakow mini-pitch and there was fighting talk in Greece's camp.

With three days to go before UEFA EURO 2012 gets under way on Friday, our team of reporters assigned to each competing nation brings you the latest news from the camps.

All times CET.

Tuesday 21.25, Spain
(Graham Hunter in Gniewino, @UEFAcomGrahamH)
So, do you believe in omens? Spain should. Shortly before their charter flight from Madrid touched down at Gdansk's Lech Walesa airport, the clouds parted, the sun beamed down in a friendly, avuncular fashion and the temperature, Baltic for days, nudged up a degree or two. OK, perhaps not an omen, just a meteorological fluke. But nobody was complaining.

Next to the door of the plane ran the slogan 'Orgullosos de nuestra selección' (Proud of our national team) – a sentiment they have earned. And when that door opened there came another friendly, avuncular smile as Vicente del Bosque beamed out. The players followed him, not two by two, but looking happy to be rescued from the no-man's land of the pre-tournament jitters. 'Will I be fit?', 'Will I be selected?', 'What will it be like in Poland?'.

The mood was good. Classic, slim grey suits, white shirts, blue ties – these elite young men strolled around the tarmac making friends with local dignitaries and Iker Casillas, captain fantastic, sought out a handicapped youngster whose day, naturally, was made thanks to a pat on the head and a quick "Qué tal?" (how's it going). The team bus was on the tarmac, no luggage carousels and passport queues for some of the greatest footballers the world has known. Into the bus, off to the Mistral hotel. Ready for lights, music and action.

Tuesday 20.30, Greece
(Vassiliki Papantonopoulou in Legionowo, @UEFAcomVassP)
Today the Greece team conducted their first open training session – and the last before their match against Poland. The stands were filled with locals, especially young people and children, and the mayor of Legionowo, Roman Smogorzewski, was there to officially welcome the squad to town. He also offered head coach Fernando Santos bread and salt, the traditional welcome treat in Poland. Then, for about 75 minutes, the spectators were treated to a training match. Santos shuffled his pack, mixing starters and substitutes so as not to give away any clues about his lineup on Friday. The coach had 23 players involved, with no injury worries to note.  

Tuesday 20.08, Poland
(Alex O'Henley in Krakow, @UEFAcomAlexO)
Poland coach Franicszek Smuda thinks teenage midfielder Rafał Wolski has a great future ahead of him but is urging him to stay one more season at Legia Warszawa. Wolksi has been linked with a move to German champions Borussia Dortmund – where he could join up with international colleagues Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Błaszczykowski and Łukasz Piszczek – but Poland’s coaching staff think it is too early for the 19-year-old to move abroad.

"A lot of work still needs to be done before this happens," said Smuda of the youngest player in his squad. "If it's true that he's staying with Legia for another season that would be an advantage for him." Strikers' coach Tomasz Frankowski added: "Technically, he's good enough for the Bundesliga, but physically maybe he's not ready yet. If he signs a contract with Borussia or another club he should still stay with Legia for another season."

Meanwhile, Dariusz Dudka has warned his fellow countrymen about the threat of their opening opponents, Greece. "In my opinion, Greece are very underestimated in Poland," said the AJ Auxerre midfielder. "We must be aware they have only lost one of their last 20 games. To be honest, we want the games to start as soon as possible. The players were overly excited in the gym today. Everyone is full of energy but we want to release that energy on the pitch. We want to start the show."

Tuesday 19.50, Germany
(Steffen Potter in Gdansk, @UEFAcomSteffenP)
I have returned from the second Germany training session today, which was open for the media for around 20 minutes. The session took place on a picture-perfect pitch which has been purpose-built for UEFA EURO 2012 just a few hundred metres from the team hotel. The media were stood right next to the pitch and used the opportunity for some nice shots. With the pitch so close to the hotel, a lot of players opted to arrive there on bikes while others preferred a shuttle service. Not much can be reported from the training session which we got to see, but when I think of some of bad news I have read from other team's camps, I have to say that it is reassuring to see 23 fit players on the pitch for Germany.

Tuesday 18.45, Greece
(Vassiliki Papantonopoulou in Legionowo, @UEFAcomVassP)
Most probably tired of the standard questions posed to players ("how do you feel about the upcoming match?" etc) and media-aware answers the footballers provide, a Polish journalist today decided to rock the boat at the Greece team press conference. "The Polish people think you are the most boring team in Europe. What do you have to say about that?" He chose the wrong guy to ask –or did he do it on purpose?

Kyriakos Papadopoulos, the 20-year-old FC Schalke 04 defender, may have a baby face but his body language and movements bring to mind a bullock and he did not wait for Stelios Malezas to answer. "We like to win and go to big tournaments. Let's see what the Polish can do, if they can defeat us and then we'll talk." That was diplomacy out of the window. As for Malezas? "Football is first about winning. Then you deal with the artistry." Of the opening match against the co-hosts, Papadopoulos added: "We are not afraid of 60,000, even 100,000 Poland fans. We are here to play our game and get what we want, no matter what is happening in the stands."

Tuesday 19.38, Netherlands
(Berend Scholten in Krakow, @UEFAcomBerendS)
The Netherlands opened a Johan Cruyff football court in the Krakow Bronowice area today. The mini-pitch was paid for by the players in order to leave something lasting for the local community and to provide children with a safe place to play football near their homes. "I have kids myself, most players have kids," said midfielder and captain Mark van Bommel. "We are happy that we can do something for the children here."

 Tuesday 18.41, Portugal
(Andy Brassell in Opalenica, @UEFAcomAndyB)
An enthusiastic crowd of some 300 (mainly) locals greeted the Portugal squad for their first training session in Poland. After a touch of light stretching, Paulo Bento's men enjoyed a practice match between themselves; there were exactly 22 participants, as the foot injury sustained by Nani in the closing stages of Saturday's friendly with Turkey kept him on the sidelines for the second successive day.

So, in order to make up the numbers, reserve goalkeepers Eduardo and Beto took turns at left-back for one of the two teams. There was a slight scare when Cristiano Ronaldo limped away from challenging Ricardo Quaresma holding his left leg, but he seemed to run off the knock quickly – much to the delight of the assembled fans, many wearing replica shirts emblazoned with his name and one waving a Real Madrid CF flag.

Tuesday 18.38, Russia
(Richard van Poortvliet in Sulejowek, @UEFAcomRichVP)
Russia are training in Sulejowek, just outside of Warsaw. Only the first 15 minutes were open to the press and there were significantly fewer journalists here today compared to Monday, when around 100 members of the media were in attendance. There was little to report, though Marat Izmailov and Aleksandr Anyukov seemed to be moving freely and showed no sign of any injuries. Igor Alinfeev trained with the rest of the goalkeepers but did not take part in the initial part of the warm-up.

All in all, the players seem to be very relaxed and there was plenty of joking going on when the session was open. However, I am sure that has now changed as the players and coaching staff continue to prepare in earnest for their first UEFA EURO 2012 encounter, against the Czech Republic, on Friday.

Tuesday 18.24, Republic of Ireland
(Garry Doyle in Gdynia, @UEFAcomGarryD)
There have been plenty of international matches played in less impressive stadiums and in front of less impressive crowds than this Republic of Ireland training session in Gdynia. Nearly 12,000 spectators arrived to officially welcome the team to their Polish training camp, where all 23 players took part in a light session. John O'Shea and Shay Given were asked to do the bare minimum, given their continuing recovery from ankle and knee injuries. Both players, however, will be fit for Sunday's UEFA EURO 2012 Group C opener against Croatia in Poznan. A press conference is due to begin shortly in which Giovanni Trapattoni and striker Jonathan Walters will speak to the media.

Tuesday 18.20, Poland
(Alex O'Henley in Warsaw, @UEFAcomAlexO)
It has been confirmed that the remains of Kazimierz Deyna, Poland's star midfielder of the 1970s, will be brought back to Poland from the United States on Wednesday. A member of the side that won Olympic gold in Munich in 1972 and came third at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Deyna was killed in a road accident in San Diego, California, 23 years ago. A requiem mass will be held in Warsaw Cathedral on Wednesday, with Deyna's remains then being transferred to the Powązki cemetery in the Polish capital, where he will be interred alongside some of his nation's most important historical figures. Later in the evening, a specially commissioned monument in Deyna's memory will be unveiled outside the home of Legia Warszawa, the club where he made his name.

Tuesday 17.38, Denmark
(Thomas Mark in Kolobrzeg, @UEFAcomThomasM)
The Netherlands and Denmark met in their first 2010 FIFA World Cup game, and will be meeting in their opening UEFA EURO 2012 fixture too, with midfielder William Kvist sure the two sides will know what to expect. "These are two teams that want to keep the ball and keep it on the ground rather than in the air," he said. "We need to be careful in defence. Not saying that we should play defensively, but we have to be smart and put pressure on them when the time is right. It can be done as their defence is not quite as strong as their attack."

Morten Olsen was in charge as the Dutch beat the Danes 2-0 back in 2010, and knows what his side are up against. "The Netherlands have a team similar to the one we saw in South Africa," said the coach. "They have so many talented players, but the team ethic is what makes them great. They might just be one of the favourites for the entire tournament, so of course they are favourites against us as well. I'm not to say that we will be giving up in advance – we will take every chance we get."

Tuesday 17.06, Italy
(Richard Aikman in Krakow, @UEFAcomRichardA)
Mario Balotelli sat out of this morning's final training session as a precaution after limping out with a tight hamstring yesterday, while Cesare Prandelli experimented with three central defenders. Midfielder Daniele De Rossi was tested in the middle of a three-man central defence, with Angelo Ogbonna on the right and Giorgio Chiellini on the left of the trio. With 'Super Mario' out, Prandelli partnered Antonio Di Natale with Fabio Borini and Antonio Cassano with Sebastian Giovinco. The squad have now left Italy and will be arriving in rainswept Krakow shortly, where Prandelli will field questions from the press at Casa Azzurri, Italy's media centre, which is rapidly filling up with espresso-swilling journalists watching footage of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations taking place in London.

Tuesday 16.29, England
(Andy James in Krakow, @UEFAcomAndyJ)
We've spent the early part of today getting acquainted with the geography of Krakow ahead of England's arrival tomorrow. Among the sights was the team's training ground, the Hutnik Stadium, where the finishing touches are being made in preparation for the Three Lions' first training session on Thursday. The media hotel, where interviews and press conferences will take place, is conveniently located a short distance from England's own abode.

Back on English soil, Roy Hodgson has recalled his charges from their two-day rest for one last pep talk on home turf prior to Wednesday afternoon's flight out to Poland. Manchester United FC defender Rio Ferdinand has promised he will be "in a pub somewhere supporting England" despite being overlooked for the squad himself.

Tuesday 15.54, Denmark
(Thomas Mark in Kolobrzeg, @UEFAcomThomasM)
There is a good atmosphere in the Denmark camp in Kolobrzeg. After all, why would there not be? I know it, the 50 or so reporters here do and Morten Olsen has even commented on it: that Denmark are the underdogs in a group which contains heavyweights Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. That suits the team just fine, though. The same mindset was prevalent 20 years ago when Denmark surprised everybody by winning EURO '92. That is just the way the Danish like it, being the outsiders. Olsen made it clear on the training ground when he said: "Everybody needs a little luck. Perhaps we just need it a little more than others."

Tuesday 15.38, Netherlands
(Berend Scholten in Krakow, @UEFAcomBerendS)
The Netherlands completed their first training session in Krakow's Municipal Stadium Wisla this morning in constant rain. They may have got a soaking but there was good news for the Oranje as defender Joris Mathijsen participated in the first part of the group training, before doing individual excercises, as his recovery from a hamstring injury gathers pace.

Coach Bert van Marwijk is hopeful the Málaga CF man will be fit for Saturday's game against Denmark. "Joris is doing well," said the coach. "The intention is that on Wednesday he will train at 70%. If this goes well he will train at 100% on Thursday and Friday. That way we hope he can play the first EURO match on Saturday."

Tuesday 15.33, Germany
(Steffen Potter in Gdansk, @UEFAcomSteffenP)
Miroslav Klose was the first and today only player to take the stage in the press conference during the German training camp in Gdansk. The Poland-born striker thanked locals for the warm reception. "I love this country as much as Germany, I was born here, almost my entire family comes from here," the 33-year old said. Looking forward to the tournament, he added: "I have a very good feeling because we are very well prepared. We have a great side, the players make it easy for the coach."

Klose reassured the assembled media that the first game against Portugal in Lviv on 9 June would be vital. "We have to show our strengths and show our passion. They [Portugal] respect us, but we have worked hard for that to happen. Now we have to underline that. They are strong, but we are equally strong."

Tuesday 15.21, Sweden
(Sujay Dutt in Kyiv, @UEFAcomSujayD)
Sweden have named their starting lineup for tonight's dress rehearsal against Serbia: Isaksson, Lustig, Mellberg, Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Källström, Svensson, Larsson, Ibrahimović, Elm, Toivonen.

That means quite a few changes from the side that beat Iceland 3-2 last week. Mikael Lustig, who has been battling with injuries all year, starts at right-back; Andreas Granqvist moves in from right-back to the centre of defence; and Martin Olsson starts at left-back, where Behrang Safari played against Iceland.

In central midfield, Anders Svensson returns to the lineup, moving Rasmus Elm to the left. Last week's left-sided midfielder Ola Toivonen now starts as the lone striker, supported by Zlatan Ibrahimović who will act as a link between midfield and the forward line, just as he did - successfully - against Iceland.

The only players apart from Ibrahimović to appear in the same position as last week are Andreas Isaksson, Olof Mellberg, Kim Källström and Sebastian Larsson. Assistant coach Marcus Allbäck explained the inclusion of a recently recovered Lustig at right-back. "He's taken enormous strides the past week. This also means that Granqvist will move into his ‘normal’ position", explained Allbäck.

Tuesday 15.15, Denmark
(Thomas Mark in Kolobrzeg, @UEFAcomThomasM)
All 23 Danish players took part in Kolobrzeg for today’s training giving coach Morten Olsen the chance to run the rule over the full squad ahead of Saturday’s opening game against the Netherlands. Some questions have been answered regarding the make-up of the starting XI, as goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard admitted he will be second choice to Stephan Andersen.

“The coach has made up his mind and you have to respect that,” Lindegaard said. “Though I’m disappointed as I believe I’m the best keeper carrying a Danish passport.” After a back injury kept the Manchester United FC man out until just ahead of EURO, the stopper did not have enough time to win back his place. “Things could have been different, but that’s of no matter now. I’m fit and I’m ready to contribute to the team any way I possibly can.”

Tuesday 15.07, Russia
(Richard van Poortvliet in Warsaw, @UEFAcomRichVP)
Dick Advocaat gave his first press conference in Warsaw ahead of Russia's UEFA EURO 2012 kick-off against Czech Republic on Friday. The Dutchman is pleased with how preparations are going, however, there is plenty of work still to be done. "We still have to improve defensively as we gave too many chances away against Italy," said the coach. "We also created a lot, but defensively we have to be sharper." The 3-0 victory in Russia's final warm-up game boosted moral in the camp and the 64 year-old is in cautiously optimistic mood going into the EURO. "Hopefully, it will give us confidence that we can score three times against teams like Italy with all their individual stars."

On the injury front Advocaat said that Marat Izmailov will be fit to face the Czechs, however, goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is a doubt with fluid on his knee after he left training yesterday wearing an icepack.

Tuesday 14.23, Croatia
(Elvir Islamovic in Warka, @UEFAcomElvirI)
Croatia have arrived at their base in Warka, 70km south of Warsaw. After landing in the Polish capital, they took a coach to their home for the next few weeks, where the players were greeted with welcoming drinks and traditional Polish sweets.

"Our hosts have really done everything they can to meet our needs during EURO 2012 and I am sure the players will be happy here during the tournament," said Zorislav Srebrić, general secretary of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS). "We have everything we wanted and there is a new training pitch which has been laid especially for us." Croatia will train for the first time on Polish soil at 18.00.

Tuesday 13.42, France
(Matthew Spiro in Donetsk, @UEFAcomMattS)
Les Bleus made another short bus journey from Clairefontaine to Le Mans this morning ahead of tonight's final warm-up match against Estonia. The players seemed in good spirits upon their arrival at the Country Club in the village of Yvre l'Eveque, taking time to sign autographs before heading inside for lunch.

Laurent Blanc has confirmed he will pick a team "closely resembling" his first-choice XI, with the first Group D encounter against England now just six days away. The coach also hinted he would use his maximum allocation of six substitutions. It means most of the squad will be involved at the MMArena, although injured trio Steve Mandanda, Blaise Matuidi and Yann M'Vila are sure to miss out.

The two-time European champions will return to Clairefontaine after the game and are scheduled to leave France for their training base in Donetsk on a midday flight tomorrow.

Tuesday 13.35, Poland
(Alex O'Henley in Warsaw, @UEFAcomAlexO)
Seven Poland players took part in shooting practice this morning while the rest of the squad went in for a gym session at their Warsaw training base. Third-choice goalkeeper Grzegorz Sandomierski was the man between the sticks, with Paweł Brożek, Rafał Wolski, Adrian Mierzejewski, Kamil Grosicki, Marcin Kamiński and Maciej Rybus the players tasked with keeping him occupied.

Before training Brożek told that some of the players went fishing yesterday before the squad went on to visit the Great Football Exhibition at the Palace of Science and Sport later in the evening. Our UEFA camera crew are currently preparing for sit-down interviews with coach Franciszek Smuda, Ludovic Obraniak and captain Jakub Błaszczykowski at the team hotel.

Tuesday 13.25, Germany
(Steffen Potter in Gdansk, @UEFAcomSteffenP)
A busy first full day lies ahead of Germany here in Gdansk. This morning, the team will have their opening training session in Poland and it will be the first time that Joachim Löw will have the full squad at his disposal. Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern München players were given extra days to  rest and so today the coach will finally get to put his plans to practice.

Yesterday goalkeeper Tim Wiese had to pull out of training after bumping into Lukas Podolski and today we will learn if it was only a precautionary measure or if it is something more serious. Team manager Oliver Bierhoff and forward Miroslav Klose are due to speak to the press before an open training session this evening.

Tuesday 12.50, Czech Republic
(Ondřej Zlámal in Wroclaw, @UEFAcomOndrejZ)
"I remember when we trained at EURO 2004 or EURO '96 that the fans watched us, but never in the numbers that we saw yesterday," team manager Vladimír Šmicer told when watching his team come out of the dressing room for their morning training session at the Municipal Stadium Oporowska. Today's second day of practice had a different atmosphere as it was played behind closed doors, witnessed only by members of the security staff and team officials.

When talking about playing at EURO tournaments, Šmicer admitted he still feels a yearning to go out and play. "You can bet I'd be on the pitch straight away," he smiled. After retiring from the professional game in May 2010, he still plays in the Prague regional league – the sixth tier – for Dolní Chabry. Šmicer also told that two of his former national team-mates, Pavel Nedvěd and Karel Poborský, were coming to support the team in the opening game against Russia on Friday.

Tuesday 12.40, Ukraine
(Boris Popov in Kyiv, @UEFAcomBorisP)
The Ukraine squad's stay in Austria will end with the match against Turkey tonight. There is a good feeling in the camp, though the players are understandably eager to breathe in the EURO atmosphere back at home. The team management have taken the decision to fly back immediately after the match in Ingolstadt, meaning Oleh Blokhin's men will land at Kyiv's Boryspil airport in the early hours of tomorrow morning, thus avoiding the crowds.

The mood among the squad cannot be too relaxed, though, and Blokhin is keeping them on their toes, telling reporters that his starting XI tonight will not necessarily be guaranteed to retain their places for their first Group D fixture against Sweden. "We are still thinking over the starting XI for the first EURO match and all the lads have a chance to make it if they give a good performance against Turkey."

Tuesday 12.15, Portugal
(Andy Brassell in Opalenica, @UEFAcomAndyB)
After a slight delay to their early evening flight leaving Lisbon for Poznan, Portugal arrived in Poland last night. Following a 40-minute coach journey from the airport, the squad arrived at the hotel that will be their base for the duration of UEFA EURO 2012 just before 23.30 CET. Given that late night, Paulo Bento's men will have their inaugural training session in Opalenica at 17.00 this afternoon, following the official photo call and a lunchtime press conference.

Though the opening Group B match against Germany is not until Saturday, the acclimatisation process starts here. After training in pleasant warmth for the past two weeks at the Obidos national training centre, the 23 will be put through their paces in light rain and a chill breeze today.

Tuesday 11.30, Poland
(Alex O'Henley in Warsaw, @UEFAcomAlexO)
On Monday evening, the Poland squad visited the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw where they took in the Great Football Exhibition, including a fascinating collection by renowned Polish journalist Stefan Szczepłek. The players were given a brief talk against the impressive backdrop of a blown-up photograph of Poland's 1972 Olympic Games-winning side with Mr Szczepłek quick to point out the current squad are following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors. "You are sitting in front of a very important picture," he told them. "This is when proper football really started in Poland."

The players then followed their guide on a tour of the exhibition which includes signed football shirts from luminaries such as Pelé, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and UEFA President Michel Platini. Special attention was paid to memorabilia made available by the family of Kazimierz Górski, the visionary manager of the 1972 side who also led Poland to third place at the 1974 FIFA World Cup finals, along with numerous exhibits related to one of the famous players of that era, Kazimierz Deyna. Afterwards the players signed three Poland strips which are to be added to the exhibition, which runs until late autumn. If you're in Warsaw for UEFA EURO 2012, it's well worth a visit.

Tuesday 11.00, Netherlands
(Berend Scholten in Krakow, @UEFAcomBerendS)
The Netherlands squad arrived yesterday in the late afternoon, flying in from Amsterdam, and this morning were having their first training session at Krakow's Municipal Stadium. Later this afternoon the players and staff will open a Johan Cruyff court training pitch in Krakow, for which the players donated the money themselves.

Tuesday 10.49, Greece
(Vassiliki Papantonopoulou in Legionowo, @UEFAcomVassP)
Greece have settled nicely in to their Jachranka hotel and Legionowo training base and yesterday there was a full-intensity work-out for the players. In the morning, coach Fernando Santos had a 90-minute talk and DVD presentation in store for his squad which was focused exclusively on Poland, the side they face in the tournament opener on Friday. A two-hour training session followed with every member of the squad taking part, including Vassilis Torossidis and Sotiris Ninis, both injury worries.

Today, there will be a double dose of training for the Greeks with the evening session open to the media and the public. PAOK FC captain Stelios Malezas and FC Schalke 04 starlet Kyriakos Papadopoulos will be facing the media today.

Tuesday 10.25, Spain
(Graham Hunter in Gniewino, @UEFAcomGrahamH)
There is a significant 'all for one and one for all' feel about Vicente Del Bosque's squad. However, in the case of Andrés Iniesta, perhaps it's a case of 'primus inter pares' - first among equals. His blistering 45 minutes on Sunday against China PR, when he hit the bar and set up David Silva's winner, was a reminder that the man who scored the winning goal in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final will be key to unlocking defences in Group C.

"Andrés has the ability to see gaps where there don't seem to be any," Juan Mata confirmed to Marca this morning. "Andrés is the type who can change a game in an instant," added Jesús Navas. Iniesta and his Spain team-mates train in Madrid this morning before heading to Barajas airport, flying to Gdansk and setting up base at their hotel in Gniewino. For the reigning champions, UEFA EURO 2012 starts in earnest today.

Tuesday 10.00, Italy
(Richard Aikman in Krakow, @UEFAcomRichardA)
The Gazzetta dello Sport put it best today when under the headline, 'Out with the antibodies', the paper wrote: "All we need now is a plague of locusts." This has not exactly been the ideal build-up to a European Championship. There have been plenty of problems off the pitch as well as those on it and yesterday's news that Andrea Barzagli is a doubt for the tournament is the latest setback for Cesare Prandelli.

The Corriere dello Sport says that Cagliari Calcio defender Davide Astori is on standby to join the squad after cutting short a holiday in Miami, while Prandelli's message from Coverciano was: "I'm not interested in football that only concerns itself with the result – I think that playing entertaining football is the best way to win." The Repubblica responded to that by asking: "Is Prandelli's message that whatever happens it will be a success? Who's he kidding? He knows full well that in Italy the coach is always wrong, even when he wins, so when he loses, forget it."

Last updated: 05/12/12 9.15CET

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