By Simon Evans
DUISBURG- Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro said he was ‘annoyed’ by suggestions that his team had been lucky to beat Australia in Monday’s World Cup second round match and said their opponents had been the fortunate ones.
Italy took a place
in the quarter-finals after a controversial injury-time penalty from Francesco Totti gave them a 1-0 victory over Guus Hiddink’s Australia.
“It annoys me to hear this stuff about Italy being lucky after all that we produced in that game,” Cannavaro told a news conference after training on Tuesday.
“How many shots on target did they have? One or two. We had six or seven chances to kill the game off,” he said.
“The luck was with them — they were able to play 11 against 10,” he added, referring to the sending off of Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the 50th minute.
Following Materazzi’s expulsion, the relatively inexperienced Andrea Barzagli was brought on to partner Cannavaro in the centre of the defence for just his ninth game.
Cannavaro, who made his 97th appearance for Italy against the Australians, said he had tried to put Barzagli at his ease.
“Out on the field I was sure that we could do it. Their (Australia’s) play was very predictable and I told Andrea to just enjoy it and that it was the kind of game you can enjoy,” said Cannavaro.
Barzagli is likely to start alongside Cannavaro against Ukraine in Friday’s quarter-final. First-choice Alessandro Nesta is doubtful with a groin injury that kept him out of the Australia match and Materazzi will serve a one-match ban.
Cannavaro cut short his press conference after hearing news that his former team mate, Juventus team manager Gianluca Pessotto, was in a serious condition after falling from a window at the Turin club’s headquarters. — Reuter