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Lippi hailed as Italy's star

07 Jul 2006 - 13:04:37

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri believes that Italy coach Marcello Lippi has been the main reason behind the Azzurri's march to the World Cup final.

Ranieri has been impressed by Lippi's tactics and team selection, as Italy have shaken off their traditional cautious approach and adopted a much more attacking set-up.

"Fabio Cannavaro, Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo have been outstanding at this World Cup, but Italy's true star has been Lippi," Ranieri told BBC Sport.

"He has transformed the match-fixing scandal back home into positive energy for his players. It has made Italy more of a united, solid group.

"Lippi is a tough, canny man, who is very clever tactically. He is also very good at reading matches.

"Look at the semi-final against Germany, he put Alessandro Del Piero and Vincenzo Iaquinta on in extra-time and it changed the game.

"Some people have said that Italy's attacking football against Germany signalled a change of philosophy.

"I don't agree. Italian managers now try to attack at all times, the era of catenaccio has been finished for a long time."


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