After three days’ hard training the Azzurri played their first warm-up match at Coverciano yesterday, a 70-minute game against Serie D side Virtus Vecomp Verona.
Cesare Prandelli deployed a 4-3-2-1 formation with Emiliano Viviano in goal, defended by Ignazio Abate, Andrea Ranocchia, Davide Astori and Federico Balzaretti.
Nocerino played in midfield alongside Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Diamanti. The trident was formed by Giovinco, Di Natale and Cassano.
All three strikers scored in the first half, with Di Natale netting twice.
In the second half, Prandelli introduced Salvatore Bocchetti and Domenico Criscito instead of Astori and Balzaretti.
Pescara’s Marco Verratti, 19, took over from De Rossi in midfield, while the front three was made up of Ezequiel Schelotto, Mattia Destro and Borini.
Antonio Nocerino and Fabio Borini scored to make the score 6-0 prompting Prandelli to say:
“All our strikers are proving themselves worthy of a call-up and I could take them all. We could always leave an extra defender out.”
The players also received a visit from half a dozen members of Italy’s 2006 FIFA World Cup-winning squad yesterday and for Claudio Marchisio, there is an obvious desire to emulate that group with another trophy.
The Juventus player, a late arrival after playing in the Coppa Italia final, may have collected a Serie A winners’ medal this term but he is hungry for more:
“Nobody should assume we have come here with our bellies full. We are as good as Spain and we fear no one.”