The coach who took Italy to Brazil

Cesare Prandelli resigned on Tuesday after four years at the helm of the Italian football team. As the squad packs up to come home from the World Cup, The Local takes a look at the career of their former head coach.

The coach who took Italy to Brazil
Cesare Prandelli resigned as Italy coach on Tuesday night. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Who is Cesare Prandelli?

Cesare Prandelli, 56, was until a few hours ago the coach of the Italian football team.

What happened a few hours ago?

Italy was booted out of the World Cup after losing to Uruguay in the group stage.

After winning against England but being beaten by Costa Rica, the team just needed a draw to make it down to the last 16.

As the players packed their bags, Prandelli announced his resignation and said he would take “all responsibility" for the team's failure.

How long did Prandelli coach the team for?

Four years. He was named head coach on May 30th 2010, just before the World Cup in South Africa. Prandelli, however, didn’t lead the squad onto the pitch until August of that year, after they had – as in Brazil this year – crashed out of the tournament in the first round. 

How successful was he as Italy coach?

In his first two years he took the team from their dismal 2010 World Cup performance to the final of the European Championships in 2012. Despite getting so close to the trophy, Italy failed to get a goal past Spain and lost the final 4-0.

Reflecting on his own performance in Brazil, Prandelli said: “I chose a certain technical plan and it did not work…It's useless for me to sit here and say I could have done it differently. This is why I'm resigning."

What did Prandelli do before coaching the Italy squad?

Since hanging up his boots at the end of the 1989-1990 season, Prandelli has spent more than 20 years managing and coaching Italian football teams.

He coaching career started at Atalanta and has taken him to a string of clubs including Fiorentina, Parma and Venezia. Prandelli has twice won the Golden Bench (Panchina d’Oro) award for Italy’s best coach.

Who did he play for?

On the pitch Prandelli is probably best known for his time at Juventus, where he was a player from 1979 to 1985. He had moved to the Turin club after a spell at Cremonese, in northern Italy.

As well as being a coach for Atalanta, Prandelli also played for the side both before and after his stint at Juventus. His playing career came to an end in 1990.

What are Prandelli’s career options now?

The Italian may well continue his footballing career, although he has shown a particular flair for the world of television.

Earlier this month Prandelli starred in a World Cup-themed advert for Ferrero, dribbling Nutella tubs across a mini football pitch. Based on his performance, he may do well to focus on Italy’s biggest brands – aside from football.

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Rimini celebrates centenary of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini

Italian resort Rimini this week marked 100 years since the birth of director Federico Fellini, whose visual dreamscapes revolutionised cinema in a career spanning almost half a century.

Rimini celebrates centenary of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini
A still from La Dolce Vita in the exhibition 'Fellini 100 : Immortal Genius'. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Dozens of events are being held around the world and in Italy this year to remember Fellini, considered one of the most influential filmmakers of all time.

The winner of a record four best foreign language film Oscars, he is famed for films set in Rome such as 'La Dolce Vita' (1960), and most of his films were shot in Cinecitta's Studio 5 outside the capital.

But he set his 1973 masterpiece 'Amarcord', a semi-autobiographical comedy about an adolescent boy growing up in 1930s fascist Italy, in the Adriatic resort of Rimini, where he was born on January 20th 1920.

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The city is marking the centenary with a special exhibition and is due to open a museum dedicated to Fellini, who died in 1993, by the end of the year.

“Rimini is everywhere in Fellini's cinema, the countryside in his films is Rimini's countryside, the sea in all Fellini's films is Rimini's sea,” said Marco Leonetti of the Rimini Cinematheque which helped put on the exhibition.

The show includes some of the more spectacular costumes from his films, as well as frequently erotic extracts from the sketchbooks of his dreams he created for his psychotherapist over a 30-year period.

Costumes on display at the 'Fellini 100 : Immortal Genius' exhibition. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

'The maestro from Rimini'

Originally an artist and caricaturist, Fellini paid to watch films as a child at Rimini's Fulgor cinema by drawing caricatures, and his films remain caricatures of society.

“If you take Fellini's films, like 'Amarcord', 'La Dolce Vita', 'I Vitelloni', when you watch them all, it's as if you're flicking through a history book, you travel through the history of our country, the history of Italy, from the 1930s to the 1980s,” Leonetti told AFP.

READ ALSO: Fellini's La Strada: a vision of masculinity and femininity that still haunts us today

Fellini was initially appreciated more abroad than in Italy, where he frequently scandalised the conservative society of the 1950s.

His films embodied a sense of irony, the ability to invent, and a sense of beauty, said Leonetti. “These are the three qualities of his art, qualities which also created 'made in Italy', and that's why Fellini, besides having told the story of our country the best, is also the person who best represents it,” he said.

A photograph of Federico Fellini. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Fellini has inspired generations of directors since, including Britain's Peter Greenaway and Spain's Pedro Almodovar. US director David Lynch, who shares the same birthday as Fellini, in 1997 declared his love for the “maestro from Rimini”.

“There's something about his films… They're so magical and lyrical and surprising and inventive. The guy was unique. If you took his films away, there would be a giant chunk of cinema missing,” Lynch told filmmaker Chris Rodley.

Fellini played “a shameless game of reflections and autobiographical projections” with his actors, the exhibition said.

The exhibition 'Fellini 100. Immortal genius' ends in March but will then travel to Rome and on to cities including Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin.

By AFP's Charles Onians