Cesare Prandelli hails Italy character

Prandelli hails Italy character
© PA Photos
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli hails the spirit in his squad after they fought to a penalty shootout success over Uruguay in the Confederations Cup.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has hailed the character and commitment shown by his players during a gruelling Confederations Cup campaign.

The Azzurri finished their summer in Brazil by securing third place with a penalty shootout victory over Uruguay.

Prandelli has admitted that his players were exhausted after having a match sent to extra time for the second time in four days, but believes that team spirit helped his side keep going despite fatigue.

He told reporters: "We deserve this third-place finish because we have played well during the tournament and have improved throughout the competition.

"We played extremely well in the first half, but having played two days we had substantial problems. It was the first time in my career that I didn't know what to do as I had eight players on the pitch asking to be substituted. This made it quite difficult.

"The most important aspect of this team is the character we showed, we wanted to stay in the game, and suffered a reasonable amount in order to achieve this. We were rewarded with the win on penalties, which is always a little bit of a lottery."

Gianluigi Buffon was the hero for Italy in Salvador, saving three penalties to guide the Azzurri to a morale-boosting success.

Uruguay's Diego Forlan shoots from the penalty spot but fails to score during the soccer Confederations Cup semifinal match between Brazil and Uruguay on June 26, 2013
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