Thursday, 13 August 2009

Lippi satisfied with Swiss stalemate

Italy coach Marcello Lippi was delighted with his team's performance despite seeing them held to a goalless draw by Switzerland on Wednesday night.

Cannavaro with Giancarlo Abete (l) & Gigi Riva (r)The Azzurri went into the game on the back of successive defeats to Egypt and Brazil in the FIFA Confederations Cup and looking for a win to boost confidence.

They might not have managed to find the back of the net in Basle but Lippi insists there were a lot of positives to take.

"We started again with a different spirit and with great enthusiasm," he said. "The Confederations Cup was only one negative month in three years of work and it's in the past.

"Now we have other aims ahead of us, other goals."

Lippi handed debuts to Genoa defender Domenico Criscito, 22, and Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio, 23, at St Jakob-Park.

Both had decent opportunities to break the deadlock early on and Lippi was impressed by the former Under-21 pair.

He added: "The first half was positive, we created a sackful of chances.

"Also the debutants were good, they are interesting lads, they created good chances, even though at the end we even risked losing."

Last night was more noteworthy for the fact it saw Fabio Cannavaro handed his 127th cap, beating the record of retired AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini.

The Juventus defender is delighted to have reached the milestone but insists he is more concerned with team matters than personal achievements.

"It's a great honour for me to have beaten the record of a great athlete like Paolo Maldini, an example for so many youngsters," said Cannavaro.

"Now there are starting to be so many games but we are lucky because the Azzurri shirt is every child's dream.

"I never thought about records, which are made to be beaten.

"For me it is a great honour to put on this shirt and a great emotion to represent Italy. That was crowned by a World Cup too."

Cannavaro, who made his debut against Northern Ireland in January 1997, was also impressed with last night's new boys.

The Italy captain added: "They were good, they showed a lot of personality.

"Now we have to make them grow without pressure. But those who come into the national team have to already be mature, the World Cup is near."

Source: Sporting Life

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