Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli says his team have 'earned respect' after their penalty shootout loss to Spain in Brazil.
Spain defeated Italy 7-6 on penalties in their Confederations Cup semi-final on Thursday but were pushed all the way by Prandelli's team, who kept the Spaniards to just 53 percent possession over 120 minutes.
Prandelli was thrilled with how his team kept the ball against Spain but bemoaned Italy's drop in intensity after half-time.
"We played a great first half and then of course we couldn't keep up the same intensity," Prandelli said.
"We tried to play the ball low but they were very good in defence and exploited some chances on the counter-attack.
"We used (Emanuele) Giaccherini a lot, especially in the first half and I have to congratulate my team.
"As I said before, we wanted to play the way we did.
"We wanted to deal with Spain on a technical level as well, we started out this way and I want to continue this because we have the right qualities to play this way."
Prandelli said Italy, who were thumped 4-0 by Spain in the final of Euro 2012, showed they can 'compete with the best' in Fortaleza.
"We earned respect, the respect of our opponents and the awareness that we're able to compete with the best," Prandelli said.
"Spain are a great team, they have continuity and we wish to have that continuity.
"We played the ball a lot, short passes on the floor and displayed great generosity.
"When you get to the penalty kicks though, anything than happen."
But Prandelli continued by admitting Italy need to keep working on maintaining possession if they are to reach the level of Spain.
"Spain are ahead of us because they have worked on these concepts for many years, while we are still seeking our path," Prandelli said.
"In terms of character, determination and tactics, we are improving."
|Coach: Del Bosque|
for David Silva 53'
for Pedro 79'
for Fernando Torres 94'
|Neil hoping to draw on previous play-off success|
|Cisse weighing up offers from USA, India and Poland|
|Hazard announced as Premier League´s Player of the Season|
|United should sign Cech if De Gea leaves - Scholes|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Cruzeiro draw first blood away from home|
|MLS Preview: Wondolowski poised for 100-goal club|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco, Marseille, Saint-Etienne battle for Champions League spot|
|Serie A Preview: Radu in doubt for crucial Rome derby|
|Bundesliga Preview: Relegation battle set for dramatic end, Dortmund to farewell Klopp|
|Stankovic denies talk of Inter return|
|Benitez would be ´happy´ to manage Real - agent|
|Newcastle not expecting favours from Allardyce - Carver|
|Lacazette can be ´world class´ - Houllier|
|Hodgson defends Sterling|
|Eredivisie Review: Heerenveen and Vitesse seize initiative|
|Prince Ali confirms World Cup expansion plans|
|Giroud hits back at ´dull´ Henry over Arsenal comments|
|Real Madrid v Getafe: Ancelotti banned in potential Bernabeu farewell|
|Stoke secure permanent Wollscheid deal|
|Ligue 1 relegation places cut to two|
|Bayern Munich v Mainz: Champions out to ring in title with return to form|
|Granada v Atletico Madrid: Tiago ready for difficult final day|
|Luis Figo statement on FIFA president candidacy withdrawal|
|Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna: Xavi prepares to bid farewell to La Liga|
|New Liverpool deals for Ibe and Flanagan|
|The tooth hurts for Hazard as he looks set to miss Sunderland clash|
|Juventus v Napoli: Double winners prepare to celebrate|
|Luis Figo withdraws from FIFA presidency race|
|Bielsa not expecting contract offer from Marseille|
|Hodgson: No England rift with United over Shaw|
|Genoa v Inter: Mancini´s men chase European berth|
|Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen: Klopp looks to sign off with European qualification|
|Bartomeu hits out at Ancelotti to Barca rumours|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Reims: Parisians ready to celebrate title triumph|
|I have not spoken to any clubs, insists Klopp|
|League Two play-off final Preview: Ainsworth claims underdog status|
|Sheringham named Stevenage boss|
|Lawless banned for football betting|
|Defence should be United´s priority, says Stam|
|Klopp vows to ignore nostalgia at final home game|
|Hodgson excited by new England call-ups|
|Xavi: Barca will survive without me|
|Benzema sustains hamstring injury|
|Maiden England call-ups for Austin, Vardy and Heaton|
|Kramer relishing Leverkusen return|
|Xavi confirms Barcelona departure|
|Sterling ´definitely not signing´ new Liverpool deal - agent|
|Herrera eyes second-season improvement|
|Kane plans long Tottenham stay|
|Schmidt signs new Leverkusen deal|
|Sterling should stay at Liverpool, says Redknapp|
|Van Praag withdraws from FIFA presidential race|
|Financial fair play here to stay, warns Platini|
|Zidane: Gerrard and me are alike|
|Drobny ruled out of Hamburg finale|
|Defoe: We want Advocaat to stay|
|Zorc expects Hummels to stay|
|Wilshere happy with position|
|Moreno talks up Europa League|
|Santa Fe 1 Internacional 0: Mosquera nets injury-time winner|
|Sporting Kansas City 4 New England Revolution 2: Nemeth inspires victory|
|Dunga calls up Fred, Felipe Anderson for Olympic trials|
|Koke wants to be Atleti´s Gerrard|
|Tinkler: FFA are ripping off owners|
|Klopp will excel at big club - Feulner|
|Allegri concedes cards fell Juve´s way|
|Estoyanoff cops six-game ACL ban for punching|
|Desailly: Mourinho would have won title with City|
|Teary Advocaat delighted to silence the Sunderland doubters|
|Pioli bemoans Lazio´s lack of luck|
|Chiellini salutes Juve fight after Coppa triumph|
|Maldini heads US franchise Miami FC|
|Wenger bemoans Arsenal fatigue|
|Advocaat to decide on Sunderland future next week|
|Juventus 2 Lazio 1 (aet): Matri keeps treble dream alive|
|Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0: Wearsiders ensure Premier League safety|
|AFC Champions League Review: Gamba take big step towards last eight|
|FIFA sponsors voice concern over Qatar working conditions|
|CSKA Sofia denied competition licences|
|Sampaoli cuts Chile squad to 26|
|Israel FA unlikely to be banned, suggests Blatter|
|Barton backs ´breath of fresh air´ Ramsey´s QPR deal|
|Adebayor considered suicide over family issues|
|Schmeichel: United can move on from De Gea|
|Fabregas ban cut to one game|
|FIGC deny Genoa a UEFA licence|
|Watford secure Gomes for Premier League return|
|Lewandowski and Boateng clash in Bayern training|
|Blackpool handed FA charge|
|Almeria to learn fate next week|
|Nimes to stay in Ligue 2 following appeal|
|Rosler named Leeds head coach|
|Sheringham set for Stevenage|
|Zanetti hopeful over Inter swoop for Toure|
|Simeone: Work ethic crucial to Atletico success|
|Southgate never considered Sterling Under-21 call|
|Dundee United clarify Newcastle Jets bid|
|Kane included in Under-21 squad|
|Overmars warns United off Cillessen|
|Carver tells Newcastle fans: Put all your differences to one side|
|Real Madrid perfect for Pogba - Desailly|
|Ravanelli backs Juve for treble success|
|Ward-Prowse eyeing Etihad upset|
|Bruce issues rallying cry ahead of crucial weekend|
|Van Gaal steals show at United awards evening|
|FFA revoke Newcastle Jets´ licence|
|Dundee United bid to buy Newcastle Jets|
|Altidore out for up to five weeks, Gold Cup campaign in doubt|
|Emelec 1 Tigres UANL 0: Bolanos sinks Mexican visitors|
|Wenger hails underappreciated Coquelin|
|Giggs: It´s strange celebrating United´s Champions League spot|
|Advocaat still unsure of future|
|CONMEBOL dismisses Boca´s appeal|