Monday, 15 October 2007

Abete rubbishes Lippi return rumours

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Giancarlo Abete has dismissed rumours linking Marcello Lippi with a return to lead the national team.

Lippi, who took Italy to World Cup glory last year, reportedly said at the weekend that he had left the door open for a possible return to the Azzurri helm.

However, Abete insists current coach Roberto Donadoni is the man for the job. "I think Lippi's comments have been taken out of context," said Abete.

"Lippi would have never said that, considering the respect he has for Donadoni. What Lippi stated was his wish to gradually return to coaching and we are all very happy for that.

"But for us, Donadoni has carte blanche."

Abete's words will give Donadoni a boost ahead of the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier in Scotland next month. Italy, who beat Georgia 2-0 on Saturday, are second in Group B, one point behind leaders Scotland and one point clear of France with two games to play.

And Abete is confident Italy can beat Scotland at Hampden Park on November 17 and claim direct qualification to the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

"I have the duty to be optimistic," said Abete. "If we don't believe it ourselves as world champions, who would?

"It's true that we have never won in Scotland but if we have to go out there and win, we will."

Source: Sporting Life

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