Azeglio Vicini says it is too soon to be comparing Ciro Immobile to Toto Schillaci, as he eases defensive concern and dismisses England’s threat.
Vicini was Italy’s CT at Italia ’90, where famously Schillaci came from nowhere to become the Azzurri’s leading striker at the tournament.
With a hat-trick netted against Fluminense at the weekend, comparisons are now being drawn to the kind of impact Immobile could have for his country at the World Cup in Brazil.
“Immobile is good, he has the right numbers to be a protagonist, but it is too early to compare him to Schillaci,” Vicini has explained this week to Adnkronos.
“They have something in common, even if to me Schillaci was more of a pure striker.
“In any case, it will depend on how the former Torino striker will be used, since I do not think that Prandelli will start him against England.”
Attention after the Fluminense match has also been on the ease with which the Brazilian club side netted three times.
“These games are important to find the form, but should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“I do not think there is any alarm in defence and then, those who took the field are not the starters, so there is no need for unnecessary anxiety.
“I believe that with the return of the starters and with more help from the midfield, things will go much better.
“Of course if you then make comparisons with the Italy defence of 2006, who were champions in Germany and only conceded two goals in seven games, then we are still a bit away.”
Italy open their 2014 campaign in Group D against England.
“The English are not a superior team. The side that faced us in 1990 in the match for third place was of another calibre.
“Among other things after that semi-final I think that at the World Cup they have not done much, so the tradition is favourable.
“Any tips for Prandelli? Absolutely not, only a sincere good luck.”
Check out OLBG.com's list of ££ Free Bets from UK bookmakers before placing your bets!