Luca Toni and Gennaro Gattuso have backed Italy coach Roberto Donadoni following the criticism he received leading up to the game against Scotland.
Donadoni has come under fire in recent weeks, but the World Cup winners ran out 2-0 victors over group leaders Scotland, with a both goals coming from Toni.
“We have played for us and for Donadoni too. We showed that Italy who won the World Cup still exists. I’m happy with the double: now I’ve scored 12 times with the Azzurri jersey,” Toni said.
Milan midfielder Gattuso now hopes the result against Scotland will silence the coach’s critics.
He added: “We wanted to win. During the week Donadoni has been massacred and I don’t understand this rage.
“We did everything to give our coach a hand. I repeat that we wanted this win for Donadoni because they are massacring him.
“In Italy, unfortunately, matches are played before in the papers and then on the ground.”
Roberto Donadoni was full of praise for his players after the win over Scotland.
“These are fantastic guys who have given on the pitch an answer they had to give,” Donadoni said.
“We must be happy with this result but at the same time we must think about the next match too.
“It’s important having a memory of the past, I think back to the games against Georgia and Lithuania. If we had won the latter, as we deserved to, then we would be in a different position
“But I want to be happy for what these players did.
“Let us celebrate this victory and not look back to other encounters.”