Tantalising friendly appeals to Prandelli
By Football News
Italian coach Cesare Prandelli believes Thursday's friendly in Geneva against Brazil will be a great warm-up for next year's World Cup.
The two nations have conjured up some of the most memorable matches in World Cup history.
Italy and Brazil have won international football's highest honour nine times between them and will be keen to impress as they continue their preparations for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
"Heading into the World Cup, we need to be ready to face the toughest opponents," Prandelli said.
"In (the Brazilian national team), we will have to face one of the best teams in the world from a technical point of view and we will have to be good at being careful and focused, but also knowing what to do onto the pitch.
"The Brazilian team have a lot of talent and they have very technical players who can also run a lot.
"Neymar in particular is very dangerous. He often manages to breach defences and is a very interesting young player."
The impressive form of Francesco Totti has got people talking in Italy, with speculation that he may be recalled for the 2014 finals.
The Roma striker, now 36, has been excellent once again this season for his club, scoring 11 goals.
And that could yet pave a way back to the national side, for a man whose last contribution for Italy was helping to win the 2006 World Cup.
"As far as Francesco Totti is concerned, we have already expressed our judgement on him and he's answered with his usual honesty, saying that he thinks a day at a time and a week at a time and that's as far ahead as he thinks," Prandelli said.
"He could even stop playing next year and we made our call on him considering what he's been giving to Italian football right now, but that itself is still a lot."
The two teams will meet again on Brazilian soil for the FIFA Confederations Cup in June.
Before that Italy will continue their qualifying campaign for next year's World Cup in Malta on Tuesday.