Marcello Lippi is hoping that Inter Milan's Champions League triumph is a good omen for Italy ahead of the FIFA World Cup™.
Inter beat Bayern Munich 2-0 to win Europe's elite club competition yesterday and become the first Italian side to win the Coppa Italia, Serie A title and Champions League in the same season. "The European football campaign has come to an end with the extraordinary victory of an Italian team," said Lippi on Sunday.
"I hope this is auspicious for Italian football in view of the World Cup in South Africa. In the case of Inter, great champions have put their services for the good of the team and they have shown strength, unity and determination," he said.
Several players in Inter's squad will be at the World Cup, however none will be representing Italy. One player heading for South Africa that made a huge impression on Lippi and everyone else is Diego Milito. The Argentina forward scored the two goals in yesterday's final in Madrid.
His effort added to a terrific season in which he scored the only goals in Inter's Coppa Italia final triumph over Roma, and in the club's league title-clinching season finale at Siena. Milito also nodded in a vital goal in the first leg of Inter's Champions League semi-final with Barcelona that the Italians won 3-1.
"I am impressed by Milito," said Lippi. "He should be the first candidate to win the Golden Ball. This year he has done something extraordinary and has been always crucial."