Even without titles, there is no doubt that Cesare Prandelli will forever be remembered in the hearts of Italian fans as one of the best managers the country has ever had in its glorious history. Being the fancy gentleman that everyone adores, he has the merit of being the man who completely changed the face of the Nazionale.
First of all, thanks to his great work, the disaster of the 2010 World Cup seems to already be light years away from the current situation. This, moreover, was not an easy job at all, considering that the South African adventure has been, without a doubt, the second lowest point ever touched by Italian soccer.
As a matter of fact, only the non-qualification to the 1958 World Cup has been a darker page than the last one. Not even the shameful elimination suffered against North Korea in 1966 can be compared to 2010, given that, to South Africa, the Azzurri arrived as World Champions.
Even more, Prandelli also has the merit of bringing the “love for the Nazionale” back to the people. He revolutionized everything, from introducing the famous “ethical code” to giving the squad a ball-possession oriented playing style. These are only a few reasons why he is already a part of Italian history, even if he won’t be able to win the fifth star in Brazil.
For this reason, his imminent goodbye worries millions of people across the country, especially considering that the two main candidates to replace him are AC Milan former coaches Alberto Zaccheroni and Massimiliano Allegri, who was fired from the Lombardian team only two days ago.
These two managers, despite having won the Scudetto title in 1999 and 2011 respectively, do not really seem to have the desired level to successfully manage one of the most glorious teams in soccer history. In fact, by analyzing their professional careers, it can be noticed how they have significantly performed better in small teams rather than in the so-called giants.
Besides the Serie A title with the Rossoneri, Zaccheroni’s best years always came when managing medium-level sides, such as Udinese and Lazio. Moreover, his biggest achievements are now coming from Japan, with which not only he won the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, but he also became the first manager in the world in reaching qualification to Brazil 2014. In addition, these successes have been accomplished with a great playing style in the field.
On the other hand, for Allegri, the situation hasn’t been any different. As a matter of fact, the 46 year old has just concluded one of the most negative experiences a coach has ever had at Milan, despite the aforementioned title. For sure, his results and performances at Cagliari and Sassuolo, in lower divisions, were significantly better. Furthermore, contrary to Zaccheroni, Allegri doesn’t even have enough experience yet to approach the Azzurri’s bench.
As a consequence of this, regarding the both of them, there is a huge concern among the common opinion whether or not they will be able to handle the pressure of the Nazionale. Certainly, whoever gets the job will have a lot to prove in order to continue the great work started by Prandelli, especially in terms of maintaining control of the country’s best players at the same time.