Sunday, 23 November 2008

[Azzurri] Lippi happy with tough draw

Italy coach Marcello Lippi is excited at the FIFA Confederations Cup draw, as it means he'll face Brazil twice in the space of just four months.

Marcello LippiThe Azzurri are in Group B for the tournament in South Africa with Brazil, Egypt and USA.

Curiously they'll also face the South American giants in a friendly at London's Emirates Stadium in February.

[FIFA Confederations Cup draw]

"What has never happened in a lifetime suddenly happens twice," Lippi reacted. "I had never faced Brazil or a Brazilian club in my career as a player or coach, but now I will take them on twice between February and June 2009. It'll be wonderful.

"I am happy that we're in a tough group, the kind I like."

Italy make their debut in the intercontinental tournament on June 15 in Pretoria against the United States, then travel to Johannesburg to face Egypt on June 18.

The big clash with Brazil is on June 21 in Pretoria - just over four months after their friendly meeting in London on February 10.

Lippi said he would experiment with some new faces in the tournament that is a warm-up for the 2010 World Cup.

"We certainly aren't going there to lose, so clearly we will push for the best result. That must always be Italy's spirit.

"It will be a great experience for us and very useful."

Italy aim to defend their World Cup crown in South Africa in 2010, so this will be an opportunity to acclimatise to the environment and the new stadia.

"I don't think that's all it is, but rather an opportunity for all the participants to see where they are in technical terms against other top sides.

"It will be a very interesting tournament in every respect and we certainly won't be short on motivation."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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