Fewer than than 24 hours have passed since Italy’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over England sealed their placed in the Euro 2012 semi-finals, but coach Cesare Prandelli has told his players to “turn the page”.
The Azzurri beat England on spot-kicks after a goalless draw in Kiev to reach the last four of the competition for the first time since 2000.
Prandelli has now turned his attention to Thursday’s showdown against Germany in Warsaw.
“We have only celebrated for 10 minutes,” Prandelli said. “We have turned the page and our focus is already on Germany.
“The Germans alongside Spain are favourites to win the European Championship. I’m not the first to discover how good they (the Germans) are, they are playing very well.”
Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon, who saved Ashley Cole’s penalty, urged his team-mates not to get carried away by yesterday’s win.
“We cannot forget that we have only overcome the quarter-final stage,” Buffon said. “I cannot start jumping for joy after taking a spot in the semi-finals.
“I will only do that when we win something as a team. Those of us that have won something important want to repeat that and achieve it also for those that haven’t won a trophy yet.”
The Azzurri face a major test in the last four as Germany have won all of their games so far in Poland and Ukraine.
Joachim Low’s men, runners-up at Euro 2008, brushed aside Greece 4-2 last Friday to record their fourth straight triumph in the tournament.
“They are probably favourites,” Buffon said. “But we have the character to face anyone. No one goes into a game wanting to finish second.”
Buffon, a member of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006, praised the fighting spirit the team displayed against England.
“We deserved the win considering what we did throughout the game,” the Juventus goalkeeper said. “We were better than them, we created so many goalscoring chances.
“We were even physically stronger than they were and we showed that until the last second of extra-time. We have to continue on this path.”
Prandelli has some injury concerns heading into the encounter against Germany.
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi hurt himself yesterday and is doubtful.
“I hope to recover in time for the semi-final,” De Rossi said. “The sciatic nerve is causing me pain and right now I am not optimistic.”
Right-back Ignazio Abate is also doubtful with a muscle injury in his leg, while Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini is unlikely to recover from a hamstring problem that saw him miss the England game.
To complicate matters for Prandelli, left-back Christian Maggio, who came on as a second-half substitute against England in place of injured Abate, will miss Thursday’s game through suspension.