A 1-1 draw in the first leg of the quarter-final saw Italy secure their place in next year’s World Cup.
“I think it was a bit of a gamble because they were not playing well, but I’m proud of them,” manager Giovanni Trapattoni said after the game.
“They are the best team in Europe.
They have the quality, the ambition and the passion.
I hope the other teams will be proud of their players.”
Italy have won their last four World Cups and were hoping to add to that record in their final match before the competition is suspended.
They drew 0-0 with the Netherlands on Wednesday night in an all-important first leg but could not find a way past France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Italy coach Giuseppe Marotta said his side would be aiming to get back on track.
“We have to improve and we have to try to find the level that we have shown so far,” he said.
“We are not satisfied with the result.
We are going to try and improve on Saturday.
In the end, we are a great team and we are looking forward to our next game.”
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