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Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 20:15 GMT 21:15 UK
Zoff blasts Italian critics
Dino Zoff
Zoff says viewing figures do not point to indifference
Italian national coach Dino Zoff has hit out at press reports that falling TV viewing figures on international matches indicate a lack of interest in his side.

Zoff, a World Cup winner back in 1982, was quick to dismiss the mood of pessimism surrounding Italy and their chances at Euro 2000.

"I'm not convinced about these figures...I don't think there's been a fall in enthusiasm," he insisted.

"We are all enthusaistic here and so are the Italian fans.

Now is the moment to show what we're capable of

Dino Zoff

"Obviously they want to see results and we haven't fully provided them.

"But this is the moment that counts. Qualifying was our objective and we achieved it. Now is the moment to show what we're capable of.

"Clearly, I want us to do well and to go far in this tournament...and I think we can do that.

"This is going to be a tough European Championship - but not only for us.

"It's very balanced and it's top quality, so that's going to make it very difficult.

"The difference between making progress and being left behind could be very small, but we're certainly confident we can do well."

Asked to single out the four likely semi-finalists he said: "France are a team with great names and it's an exporting country when it comes to footballers."
Francesco Totti
Francesco Totti had a good run in training

Holland are playing at home and we've all seen how good Spain are."

Zoff left the fourth spot blank and would not be tempted into saying Italy would fill it.

The squad have held their first training session at the Geel training ground, east of Brussels.

Francesco Totti looked sharper than Alessandro del Piero, showing his desire to win a place in Zoff's starting line-up.

He scored twice in a training match, which also saw goals from midfielder Luigi Di Biagio and would-be strikers Marco Delvecchio and Vincenzo Montella.

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See also:

01 Jun 00 | Italy
Maldini in Italian squad
14 May 00 | Squad
Dino Zoff
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