Monday, June 15, 2009

Lippi is confident: "We are eager and Skilled"

PRETORIA, 14 June 2009 - We are in Pretoria and Lippi has selected his "Pretorian" Azzurri, seasoned, not old; confident, not in decay. In sum, on the eve of their debut in the Confederations Cup, Lippi relies on his veteran players, a group that has never let him down, while preparing for his next sports fight, the match against the United States.

ITALY'S CONDITION "We'll see tomorrow; but we are so ready! We really want to do well and this is a great group of lads, but it's useless to speak before the match. We must win and if possible, play well. We want to show that Italian football is always at top level. Italian football is not represented by individual teams, but rather by its National side."

THE U.S. "They are a different squad from the one that participated in the World Cup. The manager's son, who plays in midfield, is very good and they have, as usual, Donovan, Demsey and Beasley. They play in a 4-4-2 formation, with Donovan as a support player. Their physical form is great and we must watch out for them."

WORLD CHAMPIONS "My 'oldies'? Perhaps I didn't take into consideration the average age of the other teams. Ours is 28.5 years and is not too different from the average age of the other teams. They are only a bit younger than us, but I'm not worried. I have complete faith in my players. In the next few months we will include some Under 21 players. If I had to win a championship, I wouldn't have selected these players, but considering their quality in a 30-40-day tournament, I don't think there are many squads in the world that could be stronger than us right now. My lads are very eager to win."

CHARGED-UP "Yes, because I have watched the opening ceremony today, with the flags, and my hands became clammy."

SPAIN They have never won the World Cup and they have just won their first European Cup. They have built on their youth but it took them 6-7 years to win. Our football is not inferior to Spain's or Brazil's. Can we close the gap? What gap? We are the world champions."

LOGISTICS "We have been here for a week and the last bad thing we've encountered has been the weather, although that was just at the beginning. The weather is better now and the rest is perfect."

THE GREAT ONES "The Berlusconi-Obama meeting? It's not easy to rule the world. I hope we do it seriously and to the best of our abilities."

TONI-GILARDINO "Do I have doubts about which one to select? No, I don't have any doubts. I think that Legrottaglie, albeit not in his best form, will also be available."

From our correspondent Riccardo Pratesi (

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