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Cannavaro says starting as favourites is not always a good thing...

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro believes starting the World Cup as underdogs is a good thing as he takes inspiration from 2006.

Cannavaro is gearing himself up for the start of another month of hard work as he plots Italy's route in South Africa. And, while a number of nations have predicted a quick downfall for the Azzurri, the captain is keeping it steady.

"Right, it's right like this. It's best not to start the tournament as favourites," Cannavaro told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Us Italians are the masters of starting negatively in general, but this is not right because we qualified for the tournament early, but we are always criticised.

"It's just like in 2006. We played friendlies against Germany and Holland which we won, but no one had us as favourites.

"Football is nice because of this. No one believed in it in 2006, but then everyone jumped on the bangwagon when we won."

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