Friday, June 30, 2006

On Defending Italy

Alessandro Nesta promises to be back for the World Cup semi-final

Bravo Alessandro, and well said:

(ANSA) - Duisburg, June 28 - Injured Italy stopper Alessandro Nesta hit back Wednesday at offensive jibes a German weekly published following the Azzurri's last-gasp World Cup win over Australia .

On Tuesday the online version of Der Spiegel featured a supposedly humorous opinion piece that described Italian men as "greasy", "parasitic", "cheats" and "mummy's boys" .

"We are a people of hard-workers," responded Nesta .

"Italians have taken their fashion and food all over the world. They criticize us for the way we are, but then they want to dress and eat like us".


The AC Milan star, considered the world's best defender by many, also rejected criticism of the way Italy are performing in Germany 2006 .

"If everyone attacks us, it means they fear us," the 30-year-old continued. "We are indifferent to these things; the words are carried away by the wind. It has become fashionable to attack Italian soccer, but we are playing more offensively at this World Cup than usual". Nesta confirmed that a groin injury which flared up during Italy's 2-0 group-phase win over the Czech Republic will keep him out of Friday's quarter-final with the Ukraine of former club-mate Andriy Shevchenko .

"You have to be 100% to contain him," he explained. "You have to make the least possible number of mistakes. "He has no weak spots and you can't let him go for the whole 90 minutes" .

But Nesta promised that he "will do everything to be in the semi-final", if Italy go through.

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