De Rossi believes Italy are still contenders at World Cup finals
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi believed Italy is still contenders, if not favorites, at the 2010 World Cup finals after a 1-1 draw with Paraguay on Monday, Xinhua reported.
"It's never easy to evaluate on the basis of the first game," he said. "We are not so arrogant as to assume we are better than the rest.
"There are two or three sides with better quality throughout, namely Spain, Argentina and Brazil. England are more similar to us, but we are always tough for any opponent. Let's not forget we only lost to Spain on penalties in Euro 2008."
De Rossi accepted responsibility for the goal as he failed to track Alcaraz.
"We played well, were tough and allowed Paraguay very little," he said. "My mistake led to the goal, so everyone was angry.
"We were going too deep defending the free-kicks, but he was my man and I was meant to be marking him. I definitely take the blame for that goal."
"We passed the ball around, but were a little sterile in the final third and you pay for that at this level. We need to improve in the final third, to be more clinical and to get the final pass into the box. That's what counts in a World Cup." De Rossi added.