Press article:

World Cup update - 08/07/2006

World Cup update
It'll be European hands on this World Cup

This Italian side has, as you would expect, a rock-solid back four. And, I think, they have the best keeper in the world in Gianluigi Buffon.

There's a nice balance with Gattuso and Pirlo in front of the defence. And they use the attacking qualities of the full-backs, Grosso and Zambrotta to great effect.

France have sat deep in games and tried to absorb pressure, knowing that Makelele and Vieira can disrupt the opposition.

Their aim is to get it to Zidane and Ribery and let those two do their bits of magic and feed Henry, who can lead any counter-attacks.

When Zinedine Zidane picks up the ball and drifts inside, Italy will want him to be nailed first by Gennaro Gattuso.

If Italy can nullify the influence of Zidane, they know that France's major supply line is gone.

Claude Makelele will sit in front of France's back four and he has to negate Totti. He won't want to go forward to close down Andrea Pirlo.

Pirlo is dangerous from deep, but Patrick Vieira must close him down. If Makelele goes forward, he will leave space for Totti.


c2001-2023 - All rights reserved - Official Player Sites -