Italy coach Cesare Prandelli praised his side after reaching the World Cup
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: September 10, 2013 10:59pm
Cesare Prandelli hailed his Italy side after they booked their place at next summer's World Cup finals with victory over Czech Republic.
Italy had to come from behind to take the three points to seal their spot in Brazil with two games to spare thanks to second half goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli to cancel out Libor Kozak's opener for the Czechs.
Prandelli was full of praise for his players, feeling he saw a 'great Italy' against the Czech Republic.
"I saw a great Italy. We conceded on one counter-attack, which was what they wanted, but we created four scoring opportunities in the first half and I said we had to keep believing," Prandelli told RAI Sport.
"This is a special team because in my view we know our limits and try to emphasise our qualities. We achieved that over the years and want to increase our belief that we can do even better."
For Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon it was a double celebration, as he equalled Fabio Cannavaro's international appearance record after winning his 136th cap against the Czechs.
"I thank all the lads, as thanks to them I can celebrate 360 degrees tonight," said Buffon.
"We have created so much together over these years and I thank the fans for cheering us on today, as it felt like a new atmosphere to have so much support for the Nazionale. That wasn't always the case."