Italy coach Marcello Lippi showered his team with praise after qualifying for the last 16 by beating Czech Republic.
After the 2-0 win, he said: "This team has terrific spirit, probably the most fighting spirit I've had in any team.
"We deserve to qualify, we played two great games to beat Ghana and Czech Republic, two very difficult teams.
"Finishing top of the group was very important for many reasons, but even if we had to play Brazil in the next round we'd have given it our best shot."
He added: "Sooner or later, you are going to have to play one of the favourites."
Italy will play Group F runners-up Australia in Kaiserslautern at 1600 BST on Monday.