Italy are never favorites - Lippi
Italy coach Marcello Lippi said on Wednesday that Italy are never among the favorites at World Cup, but it is not a concern for him, Xinhua reported.
"Italy has never been amongst the favorites, I don't remember a World Cup where we've been favorites," the 62-year-old said. "The favorites are rightly Brazil and Spain, but you also have to add other strong teams to the mix."
"I've said it many times before, there's Brazil, Spain and then five or six other teams, such as England, Holland, Germany, Italy and France, that don't go just to do well, they go to win and want to win," He said.
"Sometimes they manage it and we've won it four times. But a World Cup is special, it's not always technical ability that decides who wins, there are other things," he added.
The World Cup-winning coach said it was nothing new for Italy to be taken lightly, and he insisted that the Italy team were not an aged and creaking.
"We're not the oldest team here, there are three or four teams that are older than us," said the 62-year-old.
"We've got a good mix, we have nine players from 2006, that's less than 50 percent," he said. "But I've never seen another team that's won the last World Cup to turn up with 23 different players the next time. We've got old players but age doesn't mean broken down, it means experience, charisma."
Lippi also defended his decision to keep AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo in his 23-man squad despite suffering a calf strain.
Pirlo will not be fit before Italy's third group game but despite bringing along a 24th player, in Cagliari's Andrea Cossu, Lippi is unwilling to let his playmaker go.
"He's here because the team doctors said he will be ready by the third game," said Lippi.
Italy begin their Group F campaign against Paraguay in Cape Town on June 14 before matches against New Zealand and Slovakia.