After being confirmed as a member of the 23 Azzurri players making the trip to Brazil, Abate was presented at a press conference at the Porto Real Resort.
On the reconquest of a national team spot:
“Prandelli knows what I can give, as I always have done in Milan and the national team. I was not afraid of losing a place at the World Cup because I have always been a part of the group. It’s normal that, when inserted in a pool of thirty, there was competition and everyone deserved a place in the twenty-three. The coach had to make choices and I am glad that he has chosen me. Being here, however, means being part of a group that he [Prandelli] wants, that he expected with great humility seeks to achieve a big goal. believe that now we have to think as a group: the individual is no longer part of our mentality, we must have clear only the goal of the team.”
“We did a great job at Coverciano. We worked hard, so I guess we get to debut in our best physical conditions.”
On the favorites:
“I have no doubt they are Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany. We start a step below these, but there are many teams that can become revelations.”
The fact that he was not playing under Seedorf:
“It was a choice of the coach and I had to accept it. For my part I have always trained with great determination and professionalism, so I arrived at training camp with the national team in the best conditions.
On the defensive aspect of Italy:
“Against Luxembourg they had success in last half an hour, but for 60-70 minutes, we as a team did very well. We must be careful, especially at the back. Then, we must also analyze what kind of goals we concede: We took several goals on dead-balls, which signals that we must raise the bar of tension during dead balls.”
Growth compared to Euro 2012:
For my part I must move on from what has happened and start again with great humility. At the European Championship we started with great skepticism, nobody would have bet a single euro on us [getting to the final], but we got there in the end with the desire to surprise.
“They have changed so much, they created a great mix of players and may be the revelation of this World Cup. Its going to be a tough game, but I am convinced that we will arrive in the best physical and mental condition.”
“We must still wait for the official announcement. We must wait as the situation evolves in Milan, then we’ll see.”
On the spat with Balotelli in Perugia:
“The bickering seems exaggerated. It’s normal that when you are in the field you are trying to explain something, to compare and see how to find the best solution to attack. Anyway, bickering- absolutely not.”
“We must not put too much pressure on Mario. We, unlike the other country, we have no standout individual: we’re a big group, we also have our other quality players that we must exploit to the fullest. We have a great midfield, with very great setters. Mario definitely is a great striker, but loading all the responsibility on him does not seem right. He should stay at the same level as the others, work day after day, and certainly, if made available to the starting XI, he will benefit too and will surely have a great World Cup.”
The absence of Ibrahimovic:
“I’m sorry that there he will not be there because he’s is one of the strongest strikers in the world and deserves to be there.”