Italy team formation irrelevant, says Motta

07 June 2012 03:17

Italy midfielder Thiago Motta has dismissed the significance of coach Cesare Prandelli's presumed selection headache with regards to his formation.

There has been much talk in Italy since the national team's crushing 3-0 friendly loss to Russia last week about a possible switch from a back four to a back three.

Italy went through the whole qualifying campaign under Prandelli with a back four but the Russia setback seems to have brought with it a collective loss of confidence in the current system.

If Prandelli does opt for a back three then Brazilian-born Motta is widely expected to get the nod in a midfield three alongside Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.

But the 29-year-old Paris St Germain player says all talk of formations is irrelevant.

"Whether we play a defence with three, four or two players doesn't change anything," he said.

"What makes a difference is our attitude, our mentality and the desire the 11 players have to perform.

"After that it's up to the boss, he's the one who picks the system and the 11 players.

"It's not important, what counts is that when we play we have the desire to win."

And the elegant former Barcelona and Inter Milan player pointed to Spain's own fluid system as proof that individual formations don't mean much.

"In the end we all change, even Spain play with two wide players up front but then they come inside to play as central midfielders," he said.

"In the end it doesn't matter, what matters is our desire on the pitch.

"We've got a great team but we still have to prove we're a great team and we do that by helping our team-mates.

"That's the basis of being a great team because we've got a group of players with technical quality who could play in almost any team in the world.

"We need to be united to be a team and if we manage to do that then we'll be there and able to fight with anyone."

From his own perspective, Motta doesn't believe his particpation is dependent on the formation picked by his coach.

"I've played in the centre in front of the defence, on the left, the right and even sometimes further forward," he said.

"I feel good wherever because playing with these quality players it's much easier.

"For me playing in front of the defence or on the left of a midfield three is all the same."

As for how Italy will play, Motta says that too doesn't matter and all that really counts is winning.

Italy have a long history of playing the negative catenaccio system based around playing to not concede goals while hoping to nick one.

But Prandelli has a different philosophy and likes to use two deep-lying forwards with midfielders breaking from deep.

"Like other teams we want to improve, the old Italy won (playing catenaccio) and that's what counts," said Motta.

"We'll try to do our best in both defence and attack in order to win, that's what will count in the end.

"Whether we play attractively or not, we hope to play attractively and that's what the coach asks us to do, to keep the ball and use it.

"But at the end winning is what counts and that's the mentality we need."

Italy play Spain in their Group C opener in Gdansk on Sunday before matches against Croatia and Ireland.

Source: AFP

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