Krakow: Italy's turbulent Euro 2012 preparation will soon be forgotten, according to veteran Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
Back home football is hanging its head in shame as once again it has been disgraced by a match-fixing scandal.
Added to that the national team is in dire form having lost three matches in a row without scoring a goal, the last a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Russia.
But De Rossi believes all that will be forgotten once the Azzurri kick off their first match against Spain in Gdansk on Sunday.
And although he believes the fans might not feel close to the team right now, they will do soon.
"That could be the case given what's happened over the last few months but all will be forgotten, not least because those playing (for Italy) have nothing to do with what has happened," he said.
"Just one month before we won the World Cup (in 2006) there was a similar atmosphere.
"It is a little annoying because now next to the page about the national team you read about a sporting trial and we can't wait for it to be over.
"But it's not a case of the whole footballing world being dirty as things seem, the national team is above that."
Some believe that Italy's squad is not good enough to compete with the best in Europe and their recent friendly defeats, to Uruguay and USA before the last one against Russia, support that theory.
De Rossi admits that Italy are not as good as their first opponents Spain but insists that they do have the talent to produce something at this tournament.
"In this squad we have players who play in the Premier League, the Champions League and Serie A at a high level," he said.
"I'm not worried about the discrepancy in experience between those who played in the World Cup final and the others. I'm confident.
"But I was too in South Africa. I believe in the technical and human abilities of this squad.
"Spain are better than everyone else but in such a short tournament they can be beaten."
Italy's recent defeats have provoked coach Cesare Prandelli to consider abandoning the 4-4-2 formation he used throughout a successful qualifying campaign and plump for a back three.
He looks certain to do exactly that and De Rossi will line-up alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini in that defensive system.
"It's 99.9 percent sure I'll play there, although calling it central defence is not quite right," he said.
"I'll be the link between defence and midfield and what the future holds for me will be a surprise for me too.
"But also with Roma I've always had to adapt tactically and I think that's only right.
"This tournament is second only to the World Cup in terms of prestige and to be a protagonist you have to adapt.
"With respect to playing in a back four, as I have done for Roma, here for Italy the role will be more like that of a playmaker."