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Tommasi heaps praise on Italians
Alex Leach / 12 July 2012
Damiano Tommasi believes Italy’s sterling surge to the Euro 2012 final this summer has put the smiles back on the Azzurri fans’ faces in the aftermath of another match-fixing scandal.
Italy’s preparations for the continental competition in Poland and the Ukraine were hampered by an ongoing investigation into the scandal, with original squad member Domenico Criscito implicated in the proceedings for alleged wrongdoing while at Genoa.
That build-up affected the form of Cesare Prandelli’s men heading into the tournament, but they still managed to shock a fair few people – including Tommasi – by reaching the final, where they lost 4-0 to a superior Spanish side.
“It was a very big surprise for us,” admitted the former AS Roma midfielder. “They deserved to reach the final match and – in the final itself – Spain deserved the victory.
“But, for us and Italian football now, it was an important moment because we are living in a bad time in Italy and this result is very good for us.
“We will play the Confederations Cup next year, so that will be another opportunity for us to do better and better with this young national team.”
However, for ‘Calcio’ to move forward serenely from its murkier past of late, the national game of the boot-shaped country will need to rid itself of individuals who exchange cash for corners and money for matches.
Tommasi, as the current president of the Italian Footballers’ Association, is only too aware of this fact and he insists swift action can eradicate the scourge of the sport from Serie A & B.
“I hope that we can find who is really guilty of this scandal as soon as possible as we need some positive news from football,” he added.
“For that, we are looking attentively into it at this moment and we hope that, as soon as possible, we can clarify the wrongs that have happened last year. It’s a big problem, but I don’t think the whole of Calcio is entirely like that.
We know that there’s sullied money and maybe some wrong people want to be part of that. We have to be careful of this.”
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