Cannavaro - Team spirit can drive us

12 June 2010 11:58

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro hopes his team can rediscover the same team spirit that led them to glory in Germany four years ago.

Italy go into the World Cup in South Africa as champions and will contest Group F alongside Paraguay, minnows New Zealand and a tough Slovakian side.

"We don't have a star player like Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi or (Wayne) Rooney," said Cannavaro. "In this team there are no stars. But if the team spirit that we had in Germany four years ago returns, I believe we can do something important."

The Italians topped their qualifying group after seeing off the challenge from the Republic of Ireland.

However, despite being unfancied to win the World Cup for a record equalling fifth time, alongside Brazil, Cannavaro is sure the Azzurri have the pedigree to show up on the big occasion.

He added: "I remain confident. We have the duty to believe until the end."

The former Juventus centre-back, who will be standing guard in the heart of Italy's defence, believes his team can compete against any side in South Africa.

"While we will never be able to play like Brazil, Spain and Portugal, they will not be able to defend like us," said Cannavaro.

"Of the defensive line we had four years ago we have players that are not here, but (Italy coach Marcello) Lippi has worked hard on the defensive line.

"In recent years we have lost the identity to defend but our coach is trying to bring it back."

Source: PA