Wednesday, 21 November 2007

[Italy 3-1 Faroe Islands] Azzurri reaction

Roberto Donadoni's Italy may have secured top spot in Group B, but the coach has criticised the Italian media for focusing on the negatives too much.

"I saw a great choreography and participation from the fans today," he said after the 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands at the Stadio Braglia. "Modena is a wonderful city and we’re glad we could share this fine end to our qualifying campaign with them tonight."

The Azzurri were under a lot of pressure going into the last two games, but picked up victories over Scotland and the Faroes to secure qualification and top spot respectively.

However, even France boss Raymond Domenech said it was "abhorrent" that Italy were not in the seeds for the Euro 2008 finals draw.

"The controversy is entirely sterile and pointless. We will see how the draw goes and then evaluate the situation, but this is the state of affairs so discussing it will make no difference," insisted Donadoni.

The headlines have also been dominated by questions over whether he will pen a new contract before the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

"The contract is again a futile debate. I was asked a question about this and I answered in a civil fashion, but this is not an issue I want to think about right now.

"It’s not important to me and therefore shouldn’t be important to the journalists either."

Captain Fabio Cannavaro marked his 113th cap tonight, overtaking Dino Zoff to move second, only behind Paolo Maldini.

"Overtaking a legend like Zoff is very special, as we all grew up with the image of Super Dino. It’s also very satisfying for me to have worn the Azzurri jersey 113 times," he said.

Maldini is on 126 caps, but Cannavaro now has time to catch him up after Italy's qualification to the Euro 2008 finals.

"The fans of the Nazionale are always wonderful. When you have won the World Cup and less than two years later qualified for Euro 2008, the people appreciate that and realise the achievements we have made."

Defender Giorgio Chiellini scored a stunning third for the Azzurri and he was overjoyed at his debut goal. "I am very happy as I don’t often get to hit the back of the net. My first goal for the Nazionale is such a special moment that will remain with me forever.

He now wants to cement a starting place at Juventus and get called up for the finals next summer.

"I am certainly aiming for a place at Euro 2008. Things are going well with Juventus and I know I have to keep working hard with them to achieve it. It would be foolish to sit back now."

Luca Toni admits he was particularly happy to score in his hometown stadium for his fifth goal in qualifying.

"I really wanted to do well here. It wasn’t easy to play as they were all clammed up in their own half, but we made it," grinned the Modena native.

Youngster Raffaele Palladino is celebrating his senior debut and is targeting a place in the 23-man squad going to Austria and Switzerland.

"I am very happy just to be here on my debut and when the Coach told me I’d be in the starting XI I was very excited," he said.

"Now the path to Euro 2008 has to be travelled day after day, working constantly and improving. My first aim must be to win my spot at Juventus, then anything else must come from there.

"My teammates tell me I never shoot and always go for the assist, so after the game started going well for us I tried to get a bit of personal glory on the night. I didn’t get a goal, but the performance went well, I think."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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