Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: Italy  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Monday, 15 April, 2002, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Montella comes to the fore
Roma and Italy forward Vincenzo Montella
Montella is nicknamed 'The Little Aeroplane"

separator
space

He's not fond of comparisons, but Italian goalscoring legend Paolo Rossi has made an exception to the rule.

Rossi, whose goals contributed in no small part to Italy's World Cup success at Spain 82, has added his voice to those praising the current man of the moment, Vincenzo Montella.

"He's the striker who most reminds me of myself," said Rossi of the Roma star who scored twice when Italy beat England 2-1 at the end of March.

Montella, nicknamed "Aeroplanino", (literally "Little Aeroplane",) for the way he celebrates his goals, is naturally flattered by a compliment of the highest order.

Unforgettable

"It's true that I am similar to Paolo and I'm pleased that he has said certain things about me," said Montella.

Open Quote
It's true that he tried to sign me. Between myself and Eriksson there has always been a great deal of mutual respect
Close Quote
Vincenzo Montella

Montella, for so often on the fringes of Giovanni Trapattoni's plans, did himself no harm with those goals at Elland Road.

After pulling the Azzurri level with a delightful curling shot from outside the box, he kept his cool to dispatch the last-minute winner from the penalty spot.

"That stadium [Elland Road] has an extraordinary atmosphere.

"To score two goals against England was magnificent. Unforgettable. But now it's time to turn the page and concentrate on the World Cup," said Montella.

Favourites

"By beating England we've gained a minimum of credibility after a lot of bitterness. That victory was good for the image of the national team and also for my own image.

"They told me that the English press dedicated a lot of space to me. By now they know who I am.

Open Quote
In the last three World Cups we have never been beaten on the pitch. Penalty shoot-outs excluded, of course
Close Quote
Vincenzo Montella

"But the manager has always called me up to the national team when I've been in good form.

"I prefer to play as centre-forward, but he knows I can also play as a secondary striker too."

Montella also reveals that he was once a target for current England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson who had hoped to pair him alongside Christian Vieri when he was in charge of Lazio.

"It's true that he tried to sign me. Between myself and Eriksson there has always been a great deal of mutual respect and I thank him for his compliments about me. He is a true gentleman," insisted Montella.

Trapattoni has had his squad settled for a while and it seems certain that 27-year-old Montella has done enough to force himself onto the plane to the Far East.

And should that dream come true, Montella is convinced that he can be part of an Azzurri side that can go on to achieve great things.

"In the last three World Cups we have never been beaten on the pitch. Penalty shoot-outs excluded, of course," he said.

"But you can never tell. Before we beat England they were among the favourites to lift the World Cup. Now a bit less, but that's just how things go."

INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
ITALY
 TEAMS
 ITALY
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILE
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP G
  P GD PTS
MEXICO 3 +2 7
ITALY 3 +1 4
CROATIA 3 -1 3
ECUADOR 3 -2 3

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST AUDIO
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy