Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lippi: 'Trophies mean more than records'

Italy coach Marcello Lippi claims his record-equalling run of results would be meaningless if he had not won the World Cup two years ago.

Marcello LippiThe Azzurri's 1-1 draw in Greece on Wednesday night saw Lippi equal the world record of 31 consecutive international games without defeat set by former Spain coach Javier Clemente and ex-Argentina tactician Alfio Basile.

Lippi also bettered Vittorio Pozzo's unbeaten run, but the 60-year-old has his eyes set on one of the former Italy coach's other records - leading Italy to back-to-back World Cup titles.

"Let it be clear," said Lippi. "Pozzo did something incomparable by winning two World Cups. Or should I say, we can equal him if a miracle happens. There, now that would be a record.

"I'll continue my run of unbeaten results, but I am happy to have won the World Cup, to have achieved 30 or 31 results without having won anything wouldn't have mattered.

"Among that run there is a World Cup won and and an attempt to build a squad which seems to me to be going well."

It was a low-key friendly encounter in Athens as both teams looked content to go through the motions at a near-empty Georgios Karaiskakis stadium.

The Greeks took the lead against the run of play through substitute Theofanis Gekas five minutes into the second half but Luca Toni levelled the match just four minutes later with a trademark header.

Lippi has defended the fact that Italy never really got out of first gear.

"On the game I can say we had an immediate reaction to Greece's goal," he said. "We respected the fact, as we have always done, of who has to play on Saturday and made them play only a half, which I always do when it's a friendly.

"There were six changes in a friendly game and we didn't want the result at all costs, but we had four or five good chances.

"The team played with a lot of new faces - there's a good spirit."

Source: Sporting Life

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