The coach of Italy's Olympic football team Pierluigi Casiraghi is hoping for a gold medal that he believes is "as important as a World Cup."
Casiraghi will take a squad of young talent plus overage representative Tommaso Rocchi to Beijing for the tournament, which kicks off on August 7.
Italy face Cameroon, Honduras and South Korea in Group D and are trying to restore pride to the nation after a miserable Euro 2008 campaign.
"We are preparing well for the Olympics, which in my opinion are worth as much as a World Cup or a European Championship," Casiraghi said at the Azzurri's training camp in Coverciano.
"It's a great adventure and a huge professional and human experience.
"The dream is to win the gold medal, but there are lots of other teams also looking to do that.
"We will see if we can succeed. I am very happy and I have great faith in this squad.
"There's so much talent and Spain have taught us how to show your quality when they organised themselves and won Euro 2008."
Source: C4 Football Italia