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'Italy fitness embarrassing,' says national manager

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Italy's first team coach Cesare Prandelli has said he was embarrassed with his side's fitness levels against Spain in their friendly last night, according to FourFourTwo.

Italy lost 1-0 to the defending World Cup champions at the Bernabeu and the Italian has cited lack of fitness as a key factor.

He told RAI Sport: "At this moment of the season the fitness levels compared to Spain are almost embarrassing. We need to work hard, as to play with a high tempo we need intensity in our running.

"We wanted to win the ball back early, we never managed it because we weren't physically sharp enough. I'll be honest, I did not expect the players to have these fitness levels."

Pedro Rodriguez scored the only goal of the night after 62 minutes with Italy spending a lot of time defending their own penalty area. But Prandelli has said it's hard to judge the difference between the two teams right now.

"At this moment with these fitness levels it's impossible to judge the difference in quality between us and Spain. Quite simply, they always got to the ball first."

But it wasn't all doom and gloom for Italy and the first team coach managed to take a few positives out of the match, including a promising performance from debutant Gabriel Paletta.

"In a friendly I had to evaluate things that you can't even think about at a World Cup. The midfield, which in recent years has been a reference point, again gave us good guarantees.

"Paletta had a wonderful debut and at times Alessio Cerci also did well."

Italy are joined in World Cup Group D by Uruguay, England and Costa Rica which has been widely regarded as the 'group of death' in this year's tournament.

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