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Italy's national team sets off for high altitude training

05-24-2010 10:30 BJT Special Report: World Cup 2010 |

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Hundreds of well-wishers on Sunday gathered in the northern Italian city of Torino to show their support to the country's national football team who set off for a pre-World Cup training camp in a nearby ski resort.

Accompanied by loud cheers, the players posed for photos and waved at fans before boarding a bus. The 28-man-strong provisional squad kick off a two-week-long high altitude training camp later on Sunday in the Alpine ski resort of Sestriere in a bid to get used to South African conditions.

The players have some seven days to show off their skills. Italy coach Marcello Lippi has decided to wait until the June 1 deadline before cutting his team back to 23 players.

Lippi was in good spirits as he spoke to reporters ahead of the departure, complimenting Inter Milan for their European Cup victory on Saturday (May 22).

"I think Inter this year, the squad has been very strong, compact, united, very determined and recognised their strength," he said.

The coach, who led Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, told journalists he was putting past achievements at the back of his mind as he focuses on bringing the best out of his new team.

"We will try again this time with all our strength and enthusiasm, I told the players also when I met them last time that the team is like a pan, a cauldron where they all put in their qualities; technical qualities, psychological qualities, moral qualities and athletic qualities and make it all available for the coach," he said.

Italy finished top of their qualifying group without losing a game but three draws and some lacklustre performances from the ageing team led to media criticism.

The Azzurri face Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia in Group F at the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa.

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Editor:Zhang Ning |Source:

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