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'
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|
|AFC Champions League: Goalless draws leave quarter-finals on a knife edge|
|Klopp hopeful over Can injury|
|Champions League play-offs: Nine-man Roma crash out as Monaco edge Villarreal|
|Henderson hails ´outstanding´ Mane after Burton thrashing|
|Chelsea 3 Bristol Rovers 2: Conte´s side survive scare thanks to Batshuayi double|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 agg): Visitors survive Israeli scare|
|Burton Albion 0 Liverpool 5: Sturridge at the double in Reds rout|
|Leverkusen sign Austria star Dragovic|
|Sakho in the clear as WADA opt against appeal|
|Enyimba 3 Mamelodi Sundowns 1: Udoh brace secures CAF Champions League win|
|Pulisic and Ramos on target as Dortmund wrap up Bundesliga preparations|
|Calleri hoping for Tevez advice|
|Defour hoping for Belgium recall|
|Alaba warns against complacency as Bayern begin Bundesliga defence|
|Bravo arrives in Manchester ahead of City move|
|Dyche backs Gray after striker´s apology for homophobic tweets|
|Gray charged by FA over homophobic tweets|
|Pique: Olympic gold proves Neymar is one of world´s best|
|Marin makes Olympiacos move|
|Zidane arrival the catalyst for one of my best seasons - Ronaldo|
|Moyes ´worried´ about Mannone elbow injury|
|Sidibe rejected Arsenal over playing-time fears|
|Guardiola: Toure could feature against Steaua|
|Hernandez out for two weeks after falling down stairs|
|Bravo nearing City move, admits Guardiola|
|Ballack impressed by Dortmund signings but still backing Bayern|
|Lucescu questions De Boer tactics|
|Milan reject Chelsea bid for Romagnoli|
|Dortmund know how to treat Gotze - Ballack|
|Shevchenko: Bacca must improve consistency|
|´If you heed 100 idiots you will go crazy´ - Bauza on Messi return|
|Valdano relieved over Messi U-turn|
|Nordfeldt in line for loan move after signing fresh Swans deal|
|Dante joins Nice from Wolfsburg|
|De Boer expects fierce fight for Barca number-one spot|
|Newell´s confident over Messi return|
|Stoke confirm Jones interest|
|MLS ´attractive´ to Rooney - Timbers owner|
|Burke re-signs with West Ham|
|Sassuolo rejected Balotelli - CEO|
|Valencia coach Ayestaran rules out Mustafi sale|
|Allardyce plans Guardiola talks over Hart|
|Cahill warns rivals over City attack|
|Allardyce open to Terry England return|
|Drogba dismisses Villa rumours|
|Tuchel pleased despite Dortmund wastefulness|
|Stam´s Reading sign Manchester United youngster Blackett|
|Champions League place main objective for Rodgers|
|Eintracht Trier 0 Borussia Dortmund 3: Kagawa at the double as Tuchel´s men stroll|
|Escriba urges cool heads in Monaco|
|Cherchesov sets bar high for Russia|
|Tite defends Neymar´s captaincy credentials|
|Ancelotti wowed by fit-again Martinez|
|Spalletti: If Roma players are afraid, I don´t want them|
|Klopp laments Origi´s absent rhythm|
|Barcelona let Neymar stay in Brazil ahead of qualifiers|
|De Jong brothers joins forces at PSV|
|Rudiger returns to training|
|Liverpool transfer talk frustrates Klopp|
|Klopp demands final third improvements|
|Everton loan Galloway to West Brom|
|Manchester United loan Borthwick-Jackson to Wolves|
|Braithwaite to snub Premier League interest to stay at Toulouse|
|Strachan leaves out McCormack, Rhodes|
|Napoli plan to limit media commitments|
|Taarabt eager to make Marseille switch|
|Kruse suffers knee ligament injury|
|Rummenigge expects Ribery to be targeted|
|Delaney: Benteke is not Messi, he needs service|
|Ballack urges patience with Pep over City project|
|James happy at Real Madrid - Zidane|
|Harper backs Phelan for permanent Hull role|
|Flexibility the key for Allardyce|
|Allardyce concerned over Hart situation|
|De Bruyne praises Sterling reaction|
|Cavani vows to improve strike rate|
|Britton signs Swansea extension|
|Higuain motivated by ´fat´ comments|
|Conte perplexed by Costa criticism|
|Drinkwater poised to sign new Leicester contract|
|Bobo completes Sydney move|
|Bilic: You can´t count on Carroll|
|MLS Review: Dempsey´s Sounders sink rivals Timbers|
|Zidane: Important year for Bale|
|Galaxy star Rogers alleges homophobic abuse|
|Vieira: Pogba just needs to be himself|
|Bacca: I made a promise to Milan|
|Angry Handanovic critical of Inter|
|Gameiro: Atletico must win at home|
|Klopp: I´d be an idiot if I made a panic buy|
|Simeone: Draw leaves a bad taste in my mouth|
|Montella: Milan must win back fans|
|Asensio revels in goalscoring LaLiga debut for Madrid|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Alaves 1: Hosts denied in dramatic finale|