Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni points out Italians “are hyper-critical, but in the end always get good results.”
His side will face the Azzurri in Euro 2012 Group C along with Spain and Croatia.
“We mustn’t look to Italy’s defeat against Russia, as it was only a friendly,” said Il Trap from Ireland’s Montecatini training camp.
“We are a hyper-critical nation, but in the end Italy always get good results.
“As for the others in the group, Spain are the reigning world champions and can count on the foundations of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“The Croatians are unpredictable and never stop fighting for a result on the pitch. You can never count them out.”
The 73-year-old also commented on the ‘loves of his life’ during the interview with Alfio Tofanelli in the Montecatini square.
“Apart from my wife, who might get angry at what I am about to say, there have been four ‘ladies’ in my life: one had red and black stripes, one was black and white, another black and blue and one spoke German.”
He was naturally referring to Milan, Juventus, Inter and Bayern Munich.
“Fiorentina? Sadly, the Viola lady didn’t love me very much. Without Gabriel Batistuta’s injury, we would’ve won the Scudetto that year.
“I met with the ultras, who still called me a Gobbo due to my past at Juventus, and they told me that if Batistuta and Francesco Toldo left then I could’ve just not bothered starting the season.
“Therefore I got in my car and drove back to Milan.”