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Not that this necessarily means anything, but Sir Alex Ferguson of Man Utd has tabbed Italy as his choice to win the WC. He picks Spain, Argentina, France, and Italy as his final four and picks Italy to win due to a strong backline, a good mix of youth and experience, and good players up front. He thinks Italy's only concern is in the midfield. Obviously his pick means nothing, but it is still nice to see someone pick gli Azzurri.
 

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Well... I know Ferguson is most propably a tremendous coach, but usually I don't really like to hear him say anything :). This time aroud however- his semifinal prediction is identical to what I think, and he stresses a midfield concern to be Italy's only problem... well, thumps up Ferguson ;).

Ciao.
 

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wow, the great sir alex picks us :rolleyes:

better put my cash on italy now!

i think our midfield is very underatted.
 

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Is this true? He's been one of our biggest critics in the past, I never heard a positive word come out of his mouth about the Azzurri.
 

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Yeah it's true, and here is just an expansion of what TomItalia wrote:


LONDON, April 19 (DS)- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed England will not reach the semifinals of the World Cup and he is not even sure that they will make it through the first group stage, The Sun reported.

Ferguson singled out Italy as the winners of this summer's tournament.

He said: "I'd have to say the England group is very difficult. Aside from Argentina, Nigeria is not an easy opponent. And Sweden, of course, also have a great record."

Ferguson thinks France, Argentina and Spain will join the Italians in the last four.

He added: "France have a marvellous group of players and they've some youngsters now breaking into the squad who will augment the great pools from the European Championship in 2000 and the 1998 World Cup.

"But I also feel Italy will have a big chance, while Argentina and Spain probably have some of the best young players now around."

Asked who he thinks will win, Ferguson replied: "I must say Italy.

"I thought they were very unlucky in the 2000 European Championship and the team is young enough

"They still have a great defensive strength in Cannavaro, Buffon and Nesta. Those three are marvellous players.

"And they have the youth of Totti, Delvecchio and Del Piero - they have plenty of talent in the team."

He added: "England don't have any young player breaking through who you would think is going to light up the stage.

"Kieron Dyer is an option but it's not his best position. Sometimes we play Paul Scholes there and he does very well because he has good intelligence but it's not the best position. And therein lies a problem.

"I always think great players, when it comes to the big stage, it is what they want.

"And if you look at the great players in the world - Rivaldo and Zidane and Figo - this is their tournament.

"This is how they inspire themselves, because they are used to big games all the time, they are used to close marking, close attention

"Some players going to the World Cup will not be used to these things.

"When they go to the World Cup it could be the first time they have been faced with continual interviews and media exposure.

"So that's why, come the World Cup, you expect those players to light up the whole thing."

It is Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in particular who Ferguson admires, believing he will eventually take over Fabien Barthez and become the best in the world.

He said: "I showed an interest in Buffon some years ago when he was only a teenager and was in the Parma team at 17 years of age.

"Juventus went and paid ?32million for him in the summer.

"It maybe sent shockwaves through the people in the game, people who don't know him.

"But, without question, he'll be the finest goalkeeper in the world.

"And he's not just a great goalkeeper, he seems to understand the game, his positional play is very good, his temperament is good."

Speaking about his own Argentinian star Juan Veron, Ferguson stated: "He is in a great team, he is captaining it and - as with David Beckham - it has inspired him."

Surprisingly, Ferguson pinpoints a player from rivals Arsenal as the man who could steal the limelight at this summer's finals.

He said: "Thierry Henry may be the one who will light up the stage for France. He is deadly with that electric turn of pace.

"In fact they have a lot of pace with the option of Anelka, Pires - if he's fit - and Henry."

Ferguson really loves an exciting striker which is why, aside from Henry, he enjoys talking about Raul of Real Madrid and Spain.

He said: "Raul is one of my favourite players because I've always preferred strikers who can drop into spaces like we used to do with Eric Cantona, Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke.

"Raul does that for Real Madrid and he's been doing it all his career. Marvellous football brain.

"He's not lightning quick but he has a quick brain that makes up for any lack of pace - and he's a wonderful finisher."

Besides, Fergie still expects Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos to get football's most colourful fans dancing to a familiar beat.

He said: "Rivaldo is one of the few players in the world who can make things happen in that last third of the field where games are decided. Time and again with Barcelona he produces goals out of nothing.

"He scores goals no one expects - overhead kicks, beating two or three men, side-footing balls.

"Roberto Carlos amazes me, the energy he shows. He is a bit unpredictable - he has this reputation of a great shot but some of them can be wild and are likely to go 20 feet above the crossbar.

"Equally, the explosive power of his shooting means that when he hits a target, it's a goal.

"That is a funny thing about left-sided players - they always seem to have more style than the right-sided player.

"He plays with a smile too, you know. Every time you watch him he has this big smile on his face."
 

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this one makes me crack:"It is Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in particular who Ferguson admires, believing he will eventually take over Fabien Barthez and become the best in the world.

:howler: are there still people who consider Barthez the best in the world? or who ever did? eheheh
 

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Dont listen to that old man,

HE said he retires.........then he didnt
HE said MU will not lose a single game in the premier.,.....it didnt happen.
HE said Taibi is going to be the best....then he sold him.
HE said Wes Brown is the best in Europe...then u know what..
HE said he is going to buy Ronaldo, Rivaldo, ADP, Nedved, DiCanio...but nothing comes.
HE said York+Cole is the best...then he sold them....
HE said Sheringham is superb...he sold him too.
HE said Blanc is super-organizer....yes its true...he manage to organise his name to be outstanding in creating the loss.

I know Italy can win.....long b4 he says it.
 

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Italia said:
Dont listen to that old man,

HE said York+Cole is the best...then he sold them....
HE said Sheringham is superb...he sold him too.
HE said Blanc is super-organizer....yes its true...he manage to organise his name to be outstanding in creating the loss.

I know Italy can win.....long b4 he says it.
Yorke and Cole did a job for us, and were incredible during the european cup run. We got one good season out of Yorke, but what a season it was.

sheringham was superb, he too played a role in the treble, and then he got old. He came to Man Utd and he won the [email protected]' lot.

Blanc has been brilliant in the last 2 to 3 months, and anyone who watches the premier league and the champions league will testify to that


And Barthez has been outstanding. Surely the fact that United are in the Semi finals of the Champions League is, in part, a testimony to this.
 

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Yeah Fred!
And I guess now you agree w/ Ferguson that Italia is going to win the WC and not to mention a lot stronger than England!
 

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Italy are ALWAYS among the favourites,and it doesn't take"Sir" AF to say it ,to suddenly make it possible.The record of Italy in the WC speaks for itself,continually making the latter stages,for all to see.

Now,with the favourable draw that Italy & Brazil have received,these 2 look very good bets - and that is only logical.Oh,btw,Buffon has been the best for a LONG time now,and not just overnight.;)

England?I hope for the best - but fear the worst:(.

Whether they win the WC or not,Argentina is the best team in the world right now.If Vieri & Montella can stay injury-free and in-form,then it will be Italy's tournament.
 
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