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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 20, 2008

Lippi wants Italian players to copy selfless Rooney

ROME, July 20 (Reuters) - Italy coach Marcello Lippi says he wants his players to copy the selfless style of Manchester United's England forward Wayne Rooney.

'What counts more than the formation is the philosophy, the desire of great players to put themselves at the service of the team when the opposition have the ball. Like Rooney does at Manchester,' Lippi told Sunday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 2006 World Cup-winning coach, who returned to the Azzurri dugout in place of Roberto Donadoni after Italy's unsuccessful Euro 2008 campaign, said self-belief will be crucial if his side are to triumph again in South Africa in two years' time.

'The first time there is the metaphor of the great hunger. Now we have to find new motivation,' he said.

'The team must feel strong. The important thing is that self-confidence does not become presumption, but there's no risk of that.'

He also called on Brazilian-born striker Amauri to make up his mind, after Juventus's new signing gave mixed signals about whether he wants to play for Italy when his application for an Italian passport is processed, or wait for a Brazil call-up.

'I don't like it that a player dances between one national team and another for a month,' Lippi said.

'I'd like a strong, decisive choice. I'm not asking for anything from anyone. If he legally becomes Italian and chooses Italy, I would not be displeased.'

Lippi's first match is a friendly against Austria in Nice on August 20. Italy then start their World Cup qualifying campaign in Cyprus on Sept. 6 and at home to Georgia on Sept. 10.

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