England striker is one of the best – Lippi
ITALY manager Marcello Lippi has described England striker Wayne Rooney as world-class and said he dreams of pitting his wits against Fabio Capello.
The World Cup-winning coach, who has been hit by a number of high-profile injuries in the run-up to the tour nament, hailed the Manchester United striker as one of England’s most influential players.
Speaking to the Mirror, Lippi said: “Wayne Rooney is a major player for them (England). He is one of the best players in the World.
“His technical and mental skills have a major effect on his team, he is simply extraordinary. It would be great to come up against Fabio Capello’s England side at some stage of the tournament. “I would absolutely love that.” Lippi also believes that his Italian side can repeat the feat of Italy’s 1938 team by retaining the World Cup. It has only been achieved twice in history, with Brazil also winning it for the second time in a row in 1962.
“During the last 80 years the World Cup has only been won twice in a row, by ourselves and Brazil,” he continued. “There is evidence that it will be tough for anyone else to achieve that feat. We have the chance again though.
“We didn’t perform that well in our qualification for the tournament but my players will have the chance to come together and prove we are capable of retaining the trophy.
“Italy doesn’t go to World Cup finals just to perform well, Italy will go to South Africa to win.
“We cannot forget we are still the world champions and that’s not boasting, it is just as a nation we know what is necessary to win it again.
“To achieve this we need to be psychologically prepared, have the technical skill, be positive and also have a bit of luck – why not?” – The Telegraph