Warm greeting counters chilly arrival

2009-06-09 00:00

ITALY arrived in South Africa yesterday to be mildly put out by Gauteng’s barbed wire, boom gates and security fences and greeted by an arctic wind that swept their training ground, all of which was countered by smiling faces, said coach Marcello Lippi.

The world champions arrived yesterday morning to take part in the Confederations Cup and made their way past some of Gauteng’s most intimidating security fencing to their luxury lodge in the Pretoria suburb of Irene.

Then the Azzurri, watched by a hundred or so Italian, foreign and local media, stretched their limbs at Southdown College.

Lippi admitted to being taken aback by the security in Gauteng at a press conference in the media centre at Southdowns, where espresso, hams and Italian wine were served free.

“I was aware of it because the Italian federation had been out to South Africa and done their homework. It did make an impact when I saw all those barbed wires, but we’re not out here to judge anyone.

“The training facilities are all absolutely perfect. I see happy, smiling people all over and all countries have their problems,” the mastermind of Italy’s 2006 World Cup success said.

Lippi said captain Fabio Cannavaro and Daniele de Rossi trained separately yesterday due to niggling injuries that will keep them out of a warm-up against New Zealand tomorrow night in Atteridgeville, but not a match against a Tshwane XI on Friday. Italy open their Confed campaign against U.S.A. at Loftus on Monday.

The coach said Italy are here to try to win the Confed, with building for next year’s World Cup a secondary objective.

“The top football nations like Germany, Brazil and Holland never take part in a top tournament just to look good. They always try to win. We will use the next 20 days to better ourselves and if things go well, win the trophy.”

On June 21 at Loftus, Italy meet Brazil, who beat the Azzurri 2-0 in a friendly in London in February.

“That was a friendly game where we were experimenting at the time. We lost the game and it has no impact whatsoever,” the coach said.

Asked if it was a bonus working with his side over a 20-day period as opposed to the normal four or five days, Lippi replied: “The last time I had this side for a month they had a very good result”.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.