Italy’s coach Marcelo Lippi has blamed the Azzurri’s 2-1 friendly loss to Mexico on the altitude. From the look of things, this will be one World Cup riddled with excuses. The tournament has hardly begun and yet excuses and complaints are threatening to overshadow this historical event.
With key players like Camoranesi and Pirlo seriously doubtful for the tournament, Lippi is facing a hard time trying to convince his countrymen and opponents that his side will be a force to be reckoned with in South Africa. Lippi is hoping he can lead Italy to a 5th title that would equal Brazil’s record set when they won the 2002 event.
“We have been in the mountains training for 10 days and we have just come back to play a against a team in much better condition than we are and who have played seven times already, and you have to take that into account,”
“I know my players, I have spoken to them and they told me they were tired before the game. What’s important is to be in good condition in 10 days when we are in South Africa, not now.
“If we had played seven games like they did then we would have been in better condition.”
To be honest all these excuses and complaints are starting to get very annoying. Brazilian coach Dunga’s latest criticsm of the Jabulani (the tournament ball) led FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke to imply in a press conference earlier this week that Brazil were looking for an excuse in case they failed to win the tournament.
Well, that might be a little outrageous however, instead of spending so much time complaining, both the coaches and players should instead channel their energy toward improving their ball work – if indeed the ball is as bad as they say.
As for the Azzurri, defending the title they won 4 years ago will be a task easier said than done and we will only know if they have what it takes to go all the way once the tournament gets underway.
Photo credit: from ACMiler In HongKong