Marcello Lippi insists “Italian football is not in crisis”, and says “it’s sad” that Michael Oliver sent off Gianluigi Buffon.
Italy have failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup, but the man who won the competition in 2006 doesn’t see the future as being bleak.
“The Azzurri had two spectacular years in the group with Spain,” Lippi told Premium Sport.
“Then they had 20 days of blackout and they lost to Sweden. That’s what happened, Italian football is not in crisis. We can face the future with confidence, because we have a lot of good youngsters.
“Italian teams are capable of anything, there isn’t this big negative difference. No-one thought Roma and Juventus could do what they did against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“They showed that with a little luck they can be competitive.”
While the Giallorossi went through against Barça, Juve were eliminated by a last-minute penalty in the Bernabeu, having fought back from a 3-0 loss in the first leg…
“I’m not disputing the penalty, which you could give or not give. But a good referee forgot the rule of common sense in this case.
“It’s sad that he couldn’t understand Buffon’s emotional reaction in a situation like that.”