BARI, Italy, Aug 10, 2011 (AFP) - Spain captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas complained Italy had been lucky to beat the world champions 2-1 here in an entertaining friendly.
Alberto Aquilani's winner took a decisive deflection to wrong-foot substitute goalkeeper Victor Valdes in a second-half Spain had dominated.
|Alberto Aquilani celebrates with his team-mate forward Giampaolo Pazzini after scoring against Spain|
Italy were the better side before the break but Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso equalised from the spot following Riccardo Montolivo's opener.
"I don't think they deserved to win, we did a lot more than them in the second half but they scored a lucky goal. A draw would have been fairer," said Casillas.
"When you play this type of game such as Italy-Spain, it's as important as a World Cup and you always want to win.
"It was a friendly up to a certain point. The problem for us was that it was the first time we'd seen each other as a national team in some time and we're at the beginning of the season."
Casillas did have some kind words to say about Italy, claiming they were nothing like the team whose World Cup defence in South Africa last year ended in such abject failure.
"Tactically it's a new team, they've got nothing to do with the one from South Africa," he told RaiSport.
"But we know that everyone wants to give their all against us and we have to be prepared for this."
Montolivo said Italy had shown the right attitude.
"It was a great match, we're happy to have matched a very good and experienced team," he said.
"Our approach was particularly good, most of all in the first half hour.
"We didn't give much away but as for keeping hold of the ball it was difficult to compete with them.
"We'll never be like Barcelona but we can show quality on the counter-attack."
Much-maligned AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano, who has been roundly criticised for his expanded waistline, was made captain for the day in his home city, a move suggested by regular captain Gianluigi Buffon.
"First of all want to thank Gigi (Buffon), my teammates, (coach Cesare) Prandelli and all the officials who gave this emotional gesture," he said.
"If the coach says I played well then I agree, even though I was still two or three kilos overweight.
"I'm still not finished because there's still a bit of the devil in me.
"I remember everyone who says certain (negative) things but now I hope to continue in this vein and to find my (physical) form, then when I come back to the national team, I can play well again."