Italy are not World Cup favourites, says Lippi

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
marcello lippi

Lippi does not believe the defending champions are favourites (Photo: Elena Torre)

Marcello Lippi insists defending champions Italy are not favourites to triumph at the forthcoming World Cup.

Instead Italy’s head coach labelled Brazil and Spain as the teams to beat in South Africa and suggested the supporting cast will be comprised of Argentina, England, France, Holland and Italy.

“Brazil and Spain are obviously the favourites,” Lippi told La Gazetta dello Sport. “Then there are five or six other teams such as Argentina, England, France, Holland and us.”

In a recent interview Giancarlo Abete, the head of the Italian football federation, stated his belief that Italy are not favourites in South Africa this summer.

When asked about Abete’s comments, Lippi said: “I agree. We have never been absolute favourites.”

The former Juventus manager rejected claims his side were too old, insisting experience was a key ingredient of any World Cup-winning squad and only nine members of the successful 2006 squad are in this year’s team.

“I’ve never seen any team that wins the World Cup show up four years later with 23 new players,” the 62-year-old said of his selection policy.

Remarkably, despite the wealth of experience at Lippi’s disposal, the age of the Italian squad is eclipsed by its Australian, Brazilian and English counterparts.

Fabio Capello’s 23-man England party boast an average age of 28.7 years in comparison with Italy’s 28.2.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Wimbledon 2018
The Sport Review
Wimbledon 2018: Novak Djokovic wins his fourth against Anderson – but No13 is extra special
The Sport Review
10 goalkeepers Liverpool FC could sign in summer transfer window
The Sport Review
Arsenal transfers: 10 targets Gunners could sign for defence in summer
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
10 players Chelsea could sign in the 2018 summer transfer window
Exclusive
The Sport Review
Exclusive: Man United to cool interest in Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld
The Sport Review
Insider confirms Liverpool FC in discussions over world record move for Alisson
The Sport Review
Souness urges Mourinho to make 29-year-old third Man United signing