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Fabio Cannavaro: “The best is yet to come.”

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In what will be his 136th and potentially final appearance for the Azzurri, Fabio Cannavaro commented ahead of the key match with Slovakia in Johannesburg. Cannavaro will retire from international play after the World Cup and next season will feature for Al-Ahli in Dubai. His boss, Marcello Lippi, also weighed in with comments during a press conference covered by the Milan sports daily, La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Sono due anni che inseguiamo un obiettivo. Fermarsi adesso sarebbe un peccato, il bello deve ancora venire. Responsabilità? C’è sempre. Giochiamo un Mondiale. Ma non c’è paura, quella ti porta solo a commettere errori.

Formazione? Non l’ho capita (Lippi però lo interrompe e dice: “L’ha capita, sì” ndr). La squadra è viva. Ha solo bisogno della vittoria per recuperare entusiasmo. Come valuto questa vigilia? Ne ho viste di peggio. I giudizi su di me? Se uno abitua bene, poi arrivano i paragoni col 2006. Ma qualche ricordo buono l’ho lasciato, no?

Al Mondiale nessuno ti regala niente. Tutti dicono che siamo vecchi, e sappiamo solo difendere, però poi nessuno ci vuole affrontare. Con mio fratello Paolo ho parlato, ma non per chiedergli di Hamsik. Mi ha detto di tornare il più tardi possibile. Se mi dicono che l’Italia comprerà la partita come reagisco? Mi metto a ridere”.

cannavaro lippi news conference Fabio Cannavaro: The best is yet to come.

Fabio Cannavaro and Marcello Lippi at the press conference

A Two-Year Objective

“We have followed an objective for two years. To stop now would be a pity, the best is yet to come.

Responsibility? It’s always there. We are playing in a World Cup. But there is no fear. That only allows you to commit errors.”

Starting Lineup and Criticism

“Lineup? It hasn’t been determined (Mr. Lippi interrupted and said: ‘Yes, it is done.’) The team is alive. It only needs a win to recover enthusiasm. How do I evaluate this situation? I’ve seen worse. Criticisms about me? If one is used to it, then the comparisons with 2006 come. But any good memory I’ve left behind, right?”

On Marek Hamsik of Slovakia

“At the World Cup, nobody gifts you anything. Everyone says we are too old and we only know how to defend. But then nobody wants to attack us. I spoke with my brother Paolo (who plays for Napoli) but not to ask him about Marek Hamsik (his Napoli teammate). He told me to return home as late as possible. If anyone says that Italy will buy the game, how do I respond? It makes me laugh.”

pirlo lippi training Fabio Cannavaro: The best is yet to come.

Andrea Pirlo under the watchful eye of Marcello Lippi. Could Pirlo provide the missing link from the bench?

Marcello Lippi: Pirlo is Available

Non vogliamo che sia l’ultima partita per noi. Vogliamo passare il turno. Non abbiamo fatto benissimo finora, dobbiamo fare meglio, e andare avanti… Cercheremo di far meglio in attacco rispetto alle ultime uscite. Dietro invece serve più attenzione sui cross. Per fare la formazione non terrò conto della fatica delle prime due partite. Pirlo verrà in panchina, è a disposizione“.

“We don’t want this to be our last game. We want to pass this turn. We have done very well up to now but we must do better and go forward.

We will look to do better in attack with respect to the last two games. Looking back, more attention would help on crosses. Making the lineup, I didn’t take into account the fatigue from the first two games.

Andrea Pirlo will be on the substitutes bench. He is available.”

On Slovakia: Pace Upfront

Ha attaccanti veloci, che si scambiano la posizione. Hanno un solo risultato a disposizione, vincere, e proveranno a farlo. Un paragone con la partita di 4 anni fa con la Repubblica Ceca? Allora con un pari ci qualificavamo, adesso può non bastare“.

“They have strikers with pace who change positions. They have only one result at their disposal: To win, and they will try to do it. Is this similar to our match four years ago against the Czech Republic? At that time, a draw would see us through. Now it won’t be enough.”

Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, June 23, 2010.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Washington, D.C. He writes the World Football Commentaries blog. He has written for AC Cugini Scuola Calcio (Italian soccer school), Football Media, Keeper Skool and Soccerlens.

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