OVERSEAS FOOTBALL : Italy's critics goad Sacchi
Monday 27 March 1995
Second place in the section will almost certainly guarantee participation in next year's finals in England - but the Italians cannot take even that for granted. The formidable Croatian side, who beat Ukraine 4-0 in Zagreb on Saturday, head the group with maximum points from four games. Italy are five points adrift in second place - and Lithuania are one point behind with a game in hand.
"Italy wake up after the jeers," read the headline in La Repubblica yesterday. The Italians struggled and were booed by the crowd until Parma's Gianfranco Zola put them ahead just before half-time with his first international goal. The Milan midfielder, Demetrio Albertini, Zola, and the debutant striker Fabrizio Ravanelli, from Juventus, added further strikes for Italy in the second half before Estonia scored their first goal of the qualifying campaign through their substitute, Martin Reim.
"Clearly some journalists are used to seeing such great league matches that the national team pales by comparison," Sacchi, who promised to make changes in Kiev, said. "I don't think I would have read the same things if an Italian club had won 4-1 in a European match."
Croatia, who beat the Italians 2-1 in Palermo last November, could have doubled their tally against Ukraine. Davor Suker, the Seville striker, scored twice, with Milan's Zvonimir Boban and Robert Prosinecki, from the penalty spot, also on target for the former Yugoslav republic, who face Lithuania in Vilnius on Wednesday. "Croatia are the European team who have made the biggest leap in the Fifa rankings and they have a lot of very good players," Sacchi said.
n The midfielder Paul Le Guen, of Paris St-Germain, will take over from the suspended Eric Cantona as the captain of France for their European Championship qualifier against Israel in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Paul Scholes: I'm sticking my neck out - Hull to win and Newcastle to be relegated on final day
David Luiz says 'I'm not a virgin': Former Chelsea defender denies he is celibate
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...