Gianluigi Buffon is confident Italy will have a good chance of winning the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
The Azzurri crashed out at the group stages in 2010, but the goalkeeper is upbeat about the strength of the national side after their showings at Euro 2012 and the recent Confederations Cup.
“A beautiful national side is being born,” the Juventus captain told ANSA. “The side can still grow and take on anybody at the World Cup.
“We demonstrated at the Confederations Cup that we are as good as the best teams in the world. We’ve also made progress in the way we play.
“Now we need to keep following the instructions of boss Cesare Prandelli in order to continue growing.”
Italy finished as runners-up to Spain in the European Championship a year ago. They achieved third at the Confederations Cup in Brazil last month.
Buffon has won 133 caps for his nation. He is just three short of drawing level with record holder Fabio Cannavaro.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!