Donadoni playing to win
Coach Roberto Donadoni is on the brink of qualifying the Azzurri for one of two Group B spots for the Euro2008 tournament.
Don to honor Azzurri
His squad faces group leader Scotland on Saturday in Glasgow. A win would almost assure the team of their entry into the Finals next summer in Switzerland and Austria. A tie would keep them close with a final game against Faroe Islands next week. However a loss would probably doom the team to third place behind Scotland and France and probably cost Donadoni his job.
The always critical Italian press has come down hard on Donadoni several times during his tenure since taking over from Marcello Lippi after the World Cup victory last July in Germany. Initially his team struggled during the early phase of qualifications but they have regrouped nicely during 2007 by going 5-0-1 to contend for those two spots. His only blemish was a 0-0 tie versus France in September and a 3-1 friendly loss to Hungary in which only three members has previous experience with the Azzurri.
Donadoni has warned his team of a similar situation when the Azzurri where unable to qualify for the Euro 1984 after winning the World Cup in 1982. Veterans like Gianluigi Buffon will certainly make Donadoni's job easier.