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FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2009


Saturday, 27 June 2009

[Euro U21] Casiraghi proud despite unlucky defeat

Italy Under-21 coach Pierluigi Casiraghi said good fortune was the only element missing from his side following their elimination from the UEFA European Under-21 Championship against Germany.

Pierluigi CasiraghiThe Azzurrini dominated the semi-final for long periods in Helsingborg, creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities.

However, Andreas Beck's stunning strike - Germany's first real shot of the game - three minutes in the second half was enough to secure a 1-0 win and book their place in Monday's final against England.

"We played really well, perhaps the best of the tournament," Casiraghi said. "We were excellent from the beginning and I'd have to say I am very happy and proud of my players.

"We just couldn't get the goal and that happens sometimes in football, but overall we showed that we are an excellent team.

"I really haven't got anything bad to say, because we created the chances tonight, we played attacking football, and we hit the post a number of times. Sometimes they go in for you, but tonight we didn't get the rub.

"The boys should be proud because they have shown the exceptional team they are and the great future they have ahead. Unfortunately sometimes this comes after disappointments like these."

The goal, coming against the run of play early in the second half, knocked Italy off their stride and Germany began to assume control in midfield, restricting the Azzurrini to fewer opportubnities.

"While we played at a really high level in the first half, making lots of opportunities, I think we continued to play good football after half-time and were still in control of the game," he continued.

"A lack of concentration led to their goal but that can happen – it was also a great shot and you have to remember that these balls are really difficult to save too. Unfortunately the ball didn't move quite as much for us.

"We were playing against a very good German team made up of Bundesliga players and they were never going to make it easy for us. It was also our fourth game of the tournament, yet we still kept a high level throughout - I'm happy for the football we've played in all the matches.

"I am sorry because we've had two wonderful years, but unfortunately football is like that and we must accept defeat."

Casiraghi, who replaced Claudio Gentile on the Italy bench in the summer of 2006, is now expected to hold talks about his future with the President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Giancarlo Abete, early next week.

"The intention is that of proceeding along a common path, but we have both given each other some time before we speak," Casiraghi added. "These disappointments leave a mark but, let the night pass."

The media are already speculating that the recently depareted Bari coach Antonio Conte is being lined up to replace Casiraghi.

[UEFA Euro U21 Championships 2009]

Source: UEFA


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