Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Lippi is defiant on Cassano

Marcello Lippi fended off criticism over his decision to leave in-form striker Antonio Cassano out of Italy's squad for key World Cup qualifiers with Montenegro and Ireland.

Marcello Lippi fended off criticism yesterday over his decision to leave in-form striker Antonio Cassano out of Italy's squad for key World Cup qualifiers with Montenegro and Ireland. "I have my convictions and I don't have to give explanations," Lippi said. Cassano, 26, has scored eight goals for Sampdoria this season and - perhaps more importantly - been the decisive factor behind the eight goals in 10 games that Giampaolo Pazzini has scored since joining the Genoa club in January.

Pazzini received his first call-up to the national team, highlighting Cassano's exclusion. "Every now and then, [Cassano] told me that with his assists he would send me to the national team," Pazzini said. "And he did. I can only say that Cassano is a very good player. But these decisions are not up to me. Let's not forget that Lippi is a world champion and he has the final call." Italy are tied for the Group 8 lead in European World Cup qualifying with Ireland. They visit Montenegro on Saturday and host Ireland four days later in Bari - Cassano's hometown.

Elsewhere, the Germany coach Joachim Loew has calmed a potentially volatile argument with Bundesliga coaches during a meeting in Dusseldorf. Loew had indirectly criticised his coaching colleagues by claiming the quality of the Bundesliga left a lot to be desired, but he explained his comments yesterday. "We can count on the support of the Bundesliga," proclaimed Loew after the meeting. "We are in agreement that we want to try and take German football forward."

The Bayer Leverkusen coach Bruno Labbadia added: "We need to be working with each other and not against each other." * With agencies

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National