WARSAW: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli acknowledged the pinnacle of his career after Italy’s 2-1 victory over pre-match favourites Germany in the semi-finals of Euro 2012 in Warsaw.

Prandelli, former Fiorentina coach who succeeded Marcello Lippi after the first-round exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, said: “It’s like having a wonderful dream with your eyes still open. It was my  most wonderful game because of the importance of the occasion and because, for three quarters of the game, we played superbly.  We could have won 3-0.

“Spain are still the favourites in the final on Sunday in Kyiv but I think they know very well now who we are and what we can do.”

Prandelli also had words of  praise for controversial Mario Balotelli who scored both Italy’s goals in the first half to reach three for the tournament.

He said: “Mario has only just begun. He’s brilliant but this was a team effort.  We have played an extraordinary game. We have given an example of how to show grace and an attachment to the shirt.”

Playmaker Andre Pirlo was voted man of the match for the third time in these finals.

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