How post-Prandelli Italy have moved on after their own disastrous World Cup

It wasn't supposed to end the way it did. Heading into the 2014 World Cup, hopes were high in Italy that the national side could continue the steady progress they'd made under the guidance of Cesare Prandelli over the previous four years since suffering in South Africa.

Having astonishingly finished bottom of a weak group containing Slovakia, New Zealand and Paraguay in 2010 with Marcello Lippi at the helm, Prandelli had led the Azzurri to the final of Euro 2012 and semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. A new style of play had been inducted, with Italy taking the initiative and looking to dominate the ball in a way that was antithetical to the traditional stereotype of defensive reactivity.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).