'Final will come down to hunger', says Lippi
DUISBURG, Germany, July 8 (Reuters) - A World Cup final between two well balanced teams will be decided by which has the most hunger for victory, Italy coach Marcello Lippi said on Saturday ahead of the meeting with France in Berlin.
'We are going to Berlin and among the many things on the table there will be the organisation of the teams, the technical quality and the great players on both sides. We will see who has the most hunger,' said Lippi.
Lippi said that he believed France would be a tougher opponent than the German side which the Azzurri beat in the semi-finals but suggested that his side did have more desire to win.
'They have won a World Cup and a European Championship while this generation of (Italian) players has only got close to that. That is what is on the table, we have the fork in our hand and let's see what happens,' he said.
Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo was more succinct in his assessment of which team wanted victory most.
'It is a difficult final but we have more hunger than they have,' said the midfielder, who has been in excellent form throughout the World Cup.
Lippi said that while reaching the final was a great achievement for his team, he was not interested in any talk about just enjoying the day.
'I absolutely refuse this attitude of 'however it goes, it will be a great occasion' and all the rest. How many times in your life do you get the chance to win the World Cup? We have to be furious if we lose,' he said.
Lippi featured in four Champions League finals during his time as coach of Juventus - winning only once in 1996 - but said the World Cup final was a completely different experience.
'With the Champions League you have a month or so to prepare for the final whereas here you have about three days.
'Also at the World Cup you have all the emotion of winning your quarter-final, winning your semi-final and then comes the tension before the final itself.
'It is completely different, we are talking about the most important game in world football,' he said.
The Italy coach, whose contract runs out after the final and who has not made clear his intentions over his future, said that he had a good feeling about his team's mood.
'Every day the desire, the confidence and the conviction of the team has grown - but at the same time the quality of the opposition has also improved,' he said.
Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci said that apart from defender Alessandro Nesta, who has been ruled out of the final with a groin injury, there were no fitness problems in the squad.