Trapattoni has Italy respect
Giovanni Trapattoni is still held in high regard in Italy, according to members of the national squad.
Last Updated: 08/10/09 9:05pm
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is still held in high regard in Italy, according to members of the Azzurri squad.
The Italian honcho coached his native side in the 2002 World Cup and at Euro 2004 but on each occasion they fell to an early exit.
However, along the way he earned the respect of a number of high-profile players, including Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
Both players have admitted they are looking forward to a reunion with their former coach when Italy travel to Ireland for a crucial World Cup qualifier.
Legrottaglie said: "It's going to be nice to see Trapattoni again."
He added: "He was the first coach to believe in me, to give me a call-up and to make me play.
"If we go to Ireland for the crucial game, it means that Trapattoni and his team have done an exceptional qualifying campaign."
De Rossi said: "He is a coach that has done so many great things in his career.
"Now he has taken Ireland to high levels. He has always achieved results."
Italy will go through as Group Eight winners with just a point in Dublin, though, a win for the Irish would see the Azzurri's lead cut to just one point.
"While for Ireland this is the last chance, for us it isn't," said De Rossi.
"If we were to achieve qualification in the last game against Cyprus, it doesn't mean that it would be less deserved."
Meanwhile, De Rossi says there is no room for Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano in the team.
The 36-year-old, though, insisted his failure to make the squad was because of his performances on the pitch, rubbishing suggestions Cassano's unruly behaviour in the past was going against him.
"Of all the Italian strikers, he is the most talented and most entertaining," he said.
"But if we look at goals, there are other strikers here in the national team and also not selected that have scored more than him."