Cannavaro: Italy as good as Spain

The former Azzurri captain has talked up his country's chances of winning the World Cup and believes they can match the reigning world champions

Former Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro is confident Italy has a squad good enough to compete with the likes of Spain for the 2014 World Cup, although he admitted that it will not be easy to achieve.

Speaking exclusively to Goal Singapore, the former Azzurri captain labelled Italy as being on par with other contenders at the World Cup next year and hoped his country would be able to make an impact at the tournament.

“The World Cup is something special and we have a nice, strong team like Spain, the German team and the Brazilian team,” Cannavaro said.

“I hope the Italian team can do something special. The World Cup is the best tournament in the world, and everybody is waiting for it.”

With four World Cup titles to their names, Italy are second to only Brazil, who have five. As such, Cannavaro says Italians are used to winning and that being champions should be the target.

“You know, when you are the Italian national team, all the time you need to win because for our history, it is important for us to try to win the World Cup," he asserted.

“We know it’s not easy because there are a lot of teams with the same chance to win. But we need to try our best.”

Italy has had its fair share of eccentric football characters such as Antonio Cassano in the past and now Mario Batotelli, who often stirs controversy while off-pitch.

However, the former Italty skipper cannot care less about what such players do as long as they bring Italy to glory.

“He’s (Batotelli) is a good player; he’s young, he can improve a lot and he can help us to win,” Cannavaro observed.

“I don’t care, it’s not my problem (on his antics off the pitch). I just care about Balotelli on the pitch because it’s the only thing I can talk about him."