Italy-Paraguay: Quotes
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Marcello Lippi, Italy coach
“I’m happy because we played as a team, but it’s a shame not to have won because we deserved to. By the end our opponents had handed us control and they didn’t create any danger in the second period, we didn’t even let them have a single shot on goal. We still have to improve, however. What happened to [Gianluigi] Buffon? He had a back problem. We’ll wait for the doctors to say how serious the injury is and how long he’ll be out.”

Gerardo Martino, Paraguay coach
“We’re really pleased to have gone toe-to-toe with the reigning world champions and, above and beyond the result, we’re very satisfied with our performance, particularly as it’s the start of the World Cup. We couldn’t move the ball around accurately because of the way our opponents play, but we also made life difficult for them. The fact the goals came from set pieces says a lot. Paraguay could have a chance at this World Cup if we can combine the individual brilliance of other national sides with teamwork.”

Giorgio Chiellini, Italy defender
“Daniele [De Rossi] scored a goal which gave his morale a boost. It made up for the error he made (when losing his man for the Paraguayan goal). These things happen in international football. It was a tough game but we played better than them in the second half. I think we deserved much more (than a point).”

Antolin Alcaraz, Paraguay defender and Budweiser Man of the Match
“I want to share this prize with my colleagues, because without them you’re nothing. For the goal I was fortunate enough to get in ahead of the defender and after that I just needed to nod it in. It was an incredible feeling to score a goal that I’ll always remember very fondly.”

Simone Pepe, Italy midfielder
“I think there was only one team out there and that was Italy. We were the better side but we’ve still got things to work on.”

Enrique Vera, Paraguay midfielder
“We found it a bit tricky to get used to the soaking pitch, but you mustn’t make excuses because the pitch was the same for both teams. I think that we had a good game, since we kept running for 90 minutes and could even have nicked the win. We know that we’ve got to keep improving, but it was a good result and one we’re happy with.”