Archive for October 15th, 2007

Italy-Scotland: Daniele De Rossi’s Impressions for the Decisive Euro 2008 Group B Qualifier

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Last call for Euro 2008: November 17th may be over a month away, but for Roma and Azzurri midfielder Daniele De Rossi the battle’s already begun. De Rossi will be stepping onto the grass of Stadio Artemio Franchi in Siena for the first time as Azzurri captain Wednesday (given the many absences of the usual starters), when Italy battle South Africa in an international friendly. However, all of the midfielder’s thoughts are already directed towards the decisive match against Scotland.

Daniele De Rossi, age 24“It would be extremely serious if we didn’t qualify for the next Euro championships.” says De Rossi. ”Playing in Glasgow will be like playing a final, we are Italy and we’ll have to stand firm”. With technical superiority on one side, and home advantage on the other, Rossi explains: “We are the world champions, our opponents can’t be on the same level as ours, we will try to make good use of our qualities. (…) The atmosphere in the stadium will be 100% directed towards the home team, fans who’ll be chanting for the full 90 minutes.”

Rossi continued: “Italy will have to go to Scotland with the mission to impose its gameplay, trying by all means necessary to win the match. Our objective is simple: win, even if that means enduring some pain.” Regarding the recent not-so-spectacular performances of the Azzurri, De Rossi replied: “Italy will never have the sparkling playing style of Barcelona. It just isn’t possible, we are lacking the time to be beautiful and entertaining. But we will always play good matches, like we did against Georgia, although it won’t be easy finding space when a team barricades itself into its own half. But we are not trying to play with style at all costs, but simply trying to find the easiest road to get to the finish.”

Roma’s Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti with the 2006 World CupThe Roma midfielder had a few words on non-Azzurri related matters as well, starting with his team’s next Serie A game. On the fact that Roma-Napoli may have to be played behind closed doors, Rossi commented “Soccer needs people that love their club team in an intelligent way. There are no appeals on that matter, you either possess certain values or you don’t”. On Alberto Gilardino: “He’s a great striker who’s undergoing some difficult times. There’s a lot of pressure playing for AC Milan, but I’m convinced he’ll return to his form and play a vital role for the Azzurri in the future”.

On Antonio Cassano: “I was glad to hear he is praising Roma’s current playing style. For me Antonio’s a great talent, he could have been a regular in the national team for 6-7 years by now, but nothing is lost yet”. On Marcello Lippi: “I had a very good experience with him, he gave me a lot both as a soccer player and as a human being. It will be impossible to forget him. Now Italy has another team manager, and I hope he will do just as well”.

It all begins with Italy-Scotland…

Italy-South Africa: Practice Trials for Wednesday’s Friendly Match

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Italy FIGCFollowing the important 3 points obtained against Georgia on Saturday, Donadoni’s team is getting ready for midweek action against South Africa, the Italy friendly match in program at Siena. With the Don’s decision to rely essentially on newcomers for this, it will be time for experimenting, both to test out new players and new formations.

Early tests of the Monday training sessions seem to point towards a 4-3-2-1 “Xmas tree” formation, utilized a few times before during the Euro 2008 Qualifier campaign. Based on the evidence of the practice match, the starting line-ups for Wednesday should be Amelia Zaccardo, Gamberini, Bonera, Chiellini De Rossi, Montolivo Foggia, Rosina, Mauri Lucarelli.

Pasquale Foggia in the match against GeorgiaFor today’s practice, Donadoni made his players go through some drills, testing the tactical set-up, and pitting up offensive players against defenders. To finish off, a 10 vs. 10 practice match in which vice-coach Mario Bortolazzi also took part. During the test-match, a slight scare for Pasquale Foggia, who had to be stretchered off due to an eye contusion, after a challenge with Andrea Dossena.

Italy’s doc, Andrea Ferretti, declared at the end of the session: “Foggia experienced an ocular trauma to the right eye, and we will have to call upon a specialist’s opinion. He will determine if the player will be able to be utilized for the match on Wednesday”.