Friday, 4 December 2009

Draw Reactions - Group F

Vladimír Weiss
(Slovakia manager)

"I think this is a good group. There are some more difficult ones too, but it is important to keep our heads down and prepare well. Italy are the group's favorite, the other three teams will fight for the other spot. Towards the end of the draw I wished to get drawn into this particular group. All the teams in it are tough, but our team is decent enough to face them as equals. Even the order of play is good - we start with New Zealand, then play Paraguay and face Italy towards the end. We have to respect every opponent, play with modesty, but also with a sufficient amount of self-belief."
Marek Hamšík

(midfield/attack/captain - SSC Napoli)

"I am satisfied with the draw and the order of play. We are starting with New Zealand - a great unknown, but we should beat them. Paraguay's style of play is similar to that of Chile - we played them in November and it is good that we had a chance to play against a South American opponent. The Italians are favorites of the group. Since I play in Italy, I will have the advantage of knowing every single player of the Squadra Azzurra. I saw the draw on TV, it was a big occasion here in Italy. After seeing the first three groups, I was hoping for the one with Italy, Paraguay and New Zealand. And it worked!"
Stanislav Šesták
(midfield/attack - VfL Bochum)

"I got to see the draw from the moment our country got picked. With regard to our opponents, I think we can be satisfied. Of course, Italy is the group's favorite - after all, they were a seeded team. In my opinion, the Italians are beatable - if we do our best. They made it to South Africa after the very last match - had they not scored, they would go into play-offs. We will try to beat them. We should be pleased that we are playing against another European team. I have also seen New Zealand in action, but Paraguay remains a mystery."

Róbert Vittek

(forward - OSC Lille)

"Definitely one of the more acceptable groups. Italy is the clear favorite, Paraguay is a formidable opponent too. I am convinced that if we retain our luck, we will succeed, although all games will definitely be challenging. I am satisfied with the draw, it is a group, in which we can play our game."

Ľubomír Moravčík 
(Celtic legend - now retired)

"We should be very pleased as we got a good group. Of course, Italy is the favorite, but it is good to have New Zealand there as well. We should beat them and the Paraguay match should be the decider. Therefore I am very pleased that we got into such a group. The chance to advance is very high indeed, but let's not get complacent. We have to get ready for every single opponent and we cannot afford to underestimate even New Zealand."

Marcello Lippi
(Italy manager)

"Paraguay have been at the top of their qualification zone for the last two years, they are adversaries. Slovakia have also done very well, they have knocked out some big sides. Every opponent is formidable, if we give a little look towards the last 16 and the quarter-finals. We aren't satisfied or disappointed."

Ricki Herbert
(New Zealand manager)

"We're pleased. You always go into it (the draw) a little bit tentative on who you might get. Italy is obviously a huge one but great to get. But the other two we've got to back ourselves (against) ... will be tough. That will obviously be the hardest thing for us but we can do our homework now. (They are) two sides that the country hasn't experienced before and I think that's important too. The planning and preparation really needs to start now against them."

Gerardo Martino
(Paraguay manager)

"Italy have some of the best players in the world ... they are a very good team, they are the world champions. We need to be at our very best when we face them. A good result against Italy in the first game is the most important for us. If we can do that, that will be a great start for us. Playing Italy will be a great experience for our younger players and in the World Cup anything can happen. We don’t know too much about Slovakia and New Zealand but we have time to learn and study.

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