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Prandelli ´fears´ Costa Rica

19 June 2014 21:49

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has revealed that he "fears" his side's upcoming FIFA World Cup opponents Costa Rica.

The 2006 champions put in a professional display in their Group D opener against England on Saturday, winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli, but Costa Rica worry Prandelli.

Despite being fancied by few, Jorge Luis Pinto's men picked up an unlikely and impressive 3-1 win over Uruguay in their opening match, dismantling their opponents with a free-flowing, counterattacking performance.

Prandelli, however, was not totally surprised, reminding his players to expect a tough day in Recife on Friday.

"For months we've known about the calendar," he said.

"We have followed with particular interest this team. They are very well organised and know their style by heart and their own system of play.

"It's a team to fear a lot and for us it's going to be a rather difficult game."

Balotelli attended the team's pre-match press conference with Prandelli and claimed he has no interest in hogging the limelight on football's biggest stage.

"I'm not really interested in being compared to the big stars," he said. "In the end it's the squad that wins.

"I don't want to be a big star. I want to win the World Cup.

"I'm calm, I have no pressure. I want to go as far as possible in this World Cup and score as many goals as possible but the important thing is that Italy wins and progresses."

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