FIGC President Giancarlo Abete praised Giovanni Trapattoni after the Republic of Ireland's friendly victory over Italy.
Italy were comfortably beaten by Ireland 2-0.
"Trapattoni brought us back to the essential elements - you need to score in football and be efficient," said Abete.
"Due to the affection we have for Trapattoni, we are happier to lose against him in a friendly than anywhere else.
"In all honesty, when going 1-0 down we did assume we'd get back into it, but time went on and it didn't happen.
"Italy tried to play the way they had in recent matches with entertaining and well-worked football, but were not as sharp or incisive as before. These things happen.
"We tried to walk the ball into the net and did not manage it. During qualifying we conceded only one goal, then let in two tonight, so this slap will keep us awake and help the team to go forward."