Thursday, 16 October 2008

Lippi thrilled to match the Old Master

Marcello Lippi spoke of a "fantastic achievement" after Italy's 2-1 victory against Montenegro on Wednesday enabled the coach to equal Vittorio Pozzo's national record of 30 consecutive games without defeat at the helm of the Azzurri.

Marcello LippiRoma midfielder Alberto Aquilani, the only new face drafted in by Lippi following Saturday's goalless draw in Bulgaria, scored either side of Mirko Vucinic's goal for the visitors as Italy maintained their three-point advantage from the Republic of Ireland atop Group 8.

"I don't like false modesty – it's fantastic to have achieved this record," said Lippi.

"To be compared to such a great coach makes me proud, it's a wonderful thing. But the best thing is that we won a World Cup and have since started a process of rebuilding the team during this streak."

The 60-year-old is five games into his second spell as boss having stepped down after the 2006 FIFA World Cup triumph in Germany and returned as Roberto Donadoni's replacement following the quarter-final exit to Spain at UEFA Euro 2008.

"I'm very happy with my players, they have worked very hard in the last ten days," continued the former Juventus coach.

"We're trying to build a team and are only at the start of the project. I think we're on the right path and I don't care if some critics don't like the way we're playing right now."

Pozzo guided Italy to World Cup success in 1934 and 1938, adding Olympic gold in between.

Nicknamed 'Il Vecchio Maestro' (the Old Master), he retired as national coach aged 62 in 1948 with a record of 63 wins, 17 draws and 15 defeats – none of which came between November 1935 and the same month in 1939.

Should the Azzurri go on to retain their world crown in South Africa in 2010, Lippi would emulate Pozzo again by becoming only the second man to coach a side to two World Cup victories.

Source: UEFA

No comments:

Post a Comment