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Italy's Donadoni defends choice of penalty takers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said he had little choice but to let Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale take and miss penalties in the Euro 2008 quarter-final defeat by Spain on Sunday, reports Reuters.

The lacklustre world champions went out 4-2 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw having played below par all tournament.

Midfielder De Rossi had a slight niggle while Di Natale was booed by the Spanish fans as he took the kick after infuriating them during the match with some gamesmanship.

Donadoni, who missed a penalty in Italy's World Cup semi-final defeat by Argentina in 1990, said the duo put their hands up and others did not.

"We made the decision simply because you have to feel you are ready to take a penalty," Donadoni told a news conference.

"I don't decide the penalty takers, I don't oblige them to take them. We decide together when we know how they are feeling.

"All I can say is that in general in my professional career I haven't been lucky with penalties."

Donadoni had wanted to put substitute striker Alessandro Del Piero on earlier in extra time but said De Rossi's knock changed his plans.

"I would have liked to have sent on Del Piero before but we had a problem with De Rossi as he had a pain in his leg and I couldn't risk it," he said.

Di Natale saw his penalty saved by Iker Casillas at the Spanish end of the ground with whistles ringing in his ears after he had rolled back onto the field when injured during extra time.

Italian media have criticised Donadoni's tactics throughout the tournament and his position is now under threat with the soccer federation saying they will conduct a review.

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