Lippi: ‘Italy are beautiful to watch’

World Cup winner Marcello Lippi said he ‘likes the spirit’ Roberto Mancini has created at the Azzurri. ‘Italy are beautiful to watch’.

Lippi was in charge when Italy picked up the World Cup in 2006 and the former CT recalled the competition in Germany 15 years ago.

The Final between Italy and France finished 1-1 after 120 minutes, but the Azzurri stepped up and won 5-3 on penalties to lift the trophy.

“It wasn’t necessary to pick the penalty takers,” he told Il Messaggero. “Some players came up to me asking to take one.

“Usually, it goes wrong when they keep distance and no one steps up, but that evening I immediately knew that we would make it.”

And Lippi is optimistic ahead of the European Championship this summer, praising Mancini’s work with the Azzurri.

“I like the team very much, especially the spirit created by Mancini,” he continued. “Really good work by Roberto.

“I also like the behaviour he has on the pitch, regardless of the players. I have positive feelings because I have seen how they play.

“Italy are beautiful to watch, I enjoy following them. The players approach the friendlies in the right way too, they always want to win.”

But the coach stressed there are not many similarities between his Italy from 2006 and the current crop.

“No, they are distant,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean anything, as Mancini has demonstrated in his three years of management.

“The players have the right characteristics to be protagonists.”