Cesare Prandelli will be fearing the worst when his Italian side find out exactly who they will be facing in Friday's draw for the 2014 World Cup.
The experienced Italian coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport the system is "ridiculous" for only counting October's FIFA World Rankings, according to Football Italia via Yahoo! Eurosport:
Everyone knows the system doesn’t work and must be revised.
If the ranking counts, then we are now seventh and were seventh for two and a half years, but the only month that counts is October... It’s a bit ridiculous.
We played against top teams to get in that position. In any case, it remains a draw and we’ll see what happens.
Italy's ranking places them in the fourth pot, which ensures they will draw one of the toughest seeds in the competition—full details here.
Prandelli's side perhaps have a slight advantage over many European teams due to their participation in this year's Confederations Cup tournament, which allowed the players to test Brazil's new facilities for the first time.
Despite beating Mexico and Japan—one of the greatest matches to take place this year—the Azzurri lost their final group game to Brazil and were eliminated on penalties by Spain in the semifinal.
Italy did, however, claim third place with a penalty shootout victory over Uruguay in a useful showing from the 2006 World Cup winners.
Prandelli has used this experience to further amplify the difficulty of Brazil's tournament, which is going to see many games take place under extreme heat:
We already experienced the climactic conditions in the Confederations Cup. Japan were prepared and we struggled against them, but two days letter they were exhausted too.
We cannot think of resolving the problems during the tournament, so we must prevent them. There is also no ideal solution for a training retreat in Brazil, as nobody has one. I want to avoid three hour bus journeys each day.
The Italian boss has suggested he may call upon Francesco Totti to come out of retirement as playing aid, per Sky Sports. He also suggested timeouts should be used in order for players to battle dehydration, as reported by ESPN.
Top of Prandelli's immediate agenda will be avoiding the group Italy were given in the draw rehearsal—made up of Brazil, Australia and France—as the four-time world champions look to add another star to their kit during the summer.