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Prandelli puts pen to paper with Italy

"In September we will start talking about plans for the future," said Cesare Prandelli after signing a contract to remain as Italy coach until the end of UEFA EURO 2016.

Cesare Prandelli will remain in charge of Italy after the FIFA World Cup
Cesare Prandelli will remain in charge of Italy after the FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has ended speculation about his future by committing himself to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) until the end of the Azzurri's UEFA EURO 2016 campaign.

"Sorry for the delay but we were signing a contract," Prandelli told journalists waiting for his press conference at Coverciano today. "Yes, it's official, I have signed until the end of UEFA EURO 2016 – we took you by surprise.

"I'm not going into further details, as we have other important things to do now," added Prandelli, who is yet to trim his provisional 30-man squad to 23 for next month's World Cup. "In September we will start talking about plans and projects for the future. I had already agreed to continue with my work a couple of months ago, we just used this time to finalise the details of the contract."

Italy face the Republic of Ireland and Luxemburg on 31 May and 4 June respectively, before heading to Brazil. They will also play a friendly game against Fluminense FC before starting their World Cup campaign by facing England, Costa Rica and Uruguay in Group D.

After making his name as a promising coach in the prestigious youth system at Atalanta BC, the 56-year-old former Juventus defender had spells at US Lecce, Hellas Verona FC and AC Venezia before further boosting his reputation after moving to Parma FC in 2002. After another successful spell with ACF Fiorentina, he succeeded Marcello Lippi as Italy coach in 2010 and took the Azzurri to the final of UEFA EURO 2012, where they lost 4-0 to Spain.

Italy will take on Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta and Norway in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H.