Two giants of the world game meet next month in the Brazilian rainforest.
Italy national team head coach Cesare Prandelli has claimed that he would not select any of England’s players in his own squad if given the chance to, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The two teams clash in their opening group fixture in Manaus on June 14, and now Prandelli has sought to increase the tensions ahead of that much-anticipated contest.
And when asked which of Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson’s squad he would like as his own at this summer’s tournament, Prandelli claimed that he would not take any England players.
‘They are a very, very strong team. Hodgson has found some very interesting players. In particular when you consider them from a physical perspective. They are very technical and resistant,” said Prandelli.
“Which players would I take from the English? They have some interesting young players. Until around a year ago no one thought they would be able to make an impression in the Premier League.
“But I wouldn’t take anyone to have instead of my own players. We are a good team too.”
Prandelli, 56, has been in charge of his country for four years, during which time the former Fiorentina coach has managed to guide the Azzurri to the final of the 2012 European championship in Poland and Ukraine, only for the holders Spain to run out as comfortable 4-0 winners.