ITALY coach Marcello Lippi was in an edgy mood ahead of his team's final World Cup Group E match against the Czech Republic today, hoping his side return to their best form.
WHILE many observers predicted that the much-publicised corruption scandal currently enveloping Italian football would prove detrimental to the national team's chances of making any significant impact at this World Cup, their inspirational goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has argued to the contrary, insisting last night that the squad's unity is at an all-time high.
THE United States football squad arrived in Germany in determined mood. They knew their task was as simple, to gain the respect of the European soccer establishment. The Americans knew only too well that European football followers do not view the US as the emerging power it so very earnestly hopes to be. The Americans also knew that their fifth place in the FIFA rankings was universally ridiculed.
CZECH Republic coach Karel Bruckner is convinced Jan Koller can cause problems for the United States tonight.
CZECH Republic will not take their task lightly when they make their World Cup debut against the United States in Group E tonight.
THE days when the US were seen as a football lightweight are long gone and any gap between the world's elite and teams like the Americans has all but disappeared, captain Claudio Reyna said yesterday.