One of Italy’s 1982 World Cup-winning squad has backed Cesare Prandelli’s side to do well in Brazil, but warned of over-confidence.
The Azzurri are now counting down the days to this summer’s kick-off and Saturday evening’s Group D opener with England.
For Franco Causio, who won the 1982 edition of the tournament, it is important that the squad maintain a level head.
“Sometimes, too many expectations create unnecessary expectations,” the 65-year-old has told Il Mattino today.
“As the event approaches, tension is mounting and the fear of making mistakes increases.
“I remember the atmosphere before leaving for the World Cup in Germany in 1974. We were pretty sure of doing well, there was too much optimism.
“We were thinking of where to stay for the second phase and before our qualification a truck arrived at our training base full of supplies that would feed 10 teams for a month.
“After two days, we were already on the plane to return home…
“In 1978 we played a great World Cup, the foundations were laid for the triumph in Spain four years later.
“That was a tight group that perfectly assimilated the ideas of the Coach.”
Causio considered the chances that Prandelli’s side have this summer.
“I am confident. Prandelli has created quite a group and with a bit of luck they can reach the last four. It will be essential to progress through the initial stage, as that psychologically increases the self-esteem.”
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!