Donadoni says Italy can beat anyone


Oberwaltersdorf (Austria) : Italian national coach Roberto Donadoni warned that his team, set to face Spain Sunday in the quarterfinals of Euro 2008, “can beat anyone”.

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“But just like we went through against France, we will do the same against the Iberian team,” he said at a press conference here Wednesday.

The coach was relieved after Italy beat France 2-0 Tuesday to advance to the last eight after a hesitant start to the tournament, when the world champions lost 3-0 to the Netherlands and only drew 1-1 against Romania.

“It was a magnificent response from the players,” Donadoni said of the game against France.

However, he appeared certain that there would be other wins in the knock-out round of the tournament.

“Italy can beat anyone,” Donadoni stressed. “My men can beat anyone, I have no doubts about the team.”

He received strong criticism after the defeat against the Netherlands and the draw with Romania, but several of the players in the Italian squad publicly stood up for their coach.

“Between us there is something special, a symbiosis that goes beyond the relationship between coach and footballer. Some do not like that, but it is OK for me that it is that way. I have always been serene,” Donadoni said.

He added that he saw positive and negative things in all of Italy’s performances at the Euro.

“There was suffering and mistakes (against the Netherlands), but in that case too I saw positive aspects. Just like I noticed some mistakes in yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) game, and I will talk to the team about them tomorrow (Thursday),” the coach said.

Striker Luca Toni was as confident as Donadoni regarding Italy’s future in the tournament.

“Our Euro starts now,” he said confidently.