SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Italy is battered and bruised after losing two starters to injury in a 4-2 loss to Brazil at the Confederations Cup. And the Azzurri have just five days to recuperate before probably facing World Cup holder Spain in the semifinals.
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo exited in the 26th minute Saturday due to dizziness after a knock to the head and fullback Ignazio Abate walked off gingerly two minutes later with an injury to his right shoulder that ended his tournament.
Italy was already without midfield star Andrea Pirlo, who sat out with a strained right leg muscle.
Making matters worse, the Italians have struggled with the heat and humidity in their last two matches and now travel to the tournament's hottest venue of Fortaleza.