De Rossi warns Italy not to underestimate All Whites
Italy v New Zealand: Tomorrow, 3pm, Nelspruit, ITV1
Saturday 19 June 2010
Failure to qualify from the group stage for Italy would be like the mighty New Zealand All Blacks losing at rugby, the Italian midfielder Daniele de Rossi said yesterday.
The stuttering Azzurri, little-talked about among the favourites for glory in South Africa, face underdogs New Zealand in their second Group F game tomorrow after an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Paraguay in their opener. "Absolute failure would be not getting through, failure would be to go out in the second round," De Rossi said. "We've got to aim at reaching the semi-final. It may sound limiting but it's an important goal as then it is anyone's game."
New Zealand, ranked 78 in the world, are the polar opposite of the country's great rugby side and De Rossi knows the humiliation the world champions would face should the result go against them in Nelspruit.
"Losing to New Zealand would probably mean we would risk going out like France," he said. "You can imagine what that would mean, it would be like New Zealand going out in the first round of the rugby World Cup."
Italy will play Federico Marchetti in goal as the veteran Gianluigi Buffon is injured. Buffon has a herniated disc and had to leave Italy's opening game against Paraguay, and Marchetti came on as a substitute.
"I am convinced I can play a good game on Sunday," said Marchetti. "Buffon and I are different," he said. "He is faster and more reactive. I am more muscular and explosive. I believe to have courage and awareness of your talent are the basis to have success."
The 27-year-old made his senior debut last year and this is his first international tournament. "I feel the confidence of my team-mates," he said. "Buffon just told me to show what I'm capable of doing. He trusts me."
Latest in Sport
NFL player Marshawn Lynch answers every question in post-game interview with 'Yeah'
Manchester United named Premier League's loudest fans despite late push by Chelsea according to 'Smart Meter' app
WWE Survivor Series 2014: What time does the event start? And full card
Chelsea vs West Brom: Jose Mourinho turns on ‘Dr Sergio Ramos’ in Spanish spat
Prince Harry leads the congratulations for Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, calling him 'an absolute legend' as he crossed the finish line
- 1 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'