Cannavaro: It will be an interesting battle

The number of strong teams in the European Zone makes it a tough mission to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™, even for traditional giants.

Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro knows the scale of the challenge, having overcome it four times to feature at every edition of the tournament between 1998 and 2010. After serving as one of the Draw Assistants at the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, he discussed how the European countries would be approaching the road to the global showpiece.

"It will certainly be an interesting battle, because at the end of the day a World Cup is a World Cup; everyone wants to be there and will be willing to give everything to book a ticket to Russia," said Cannavaro, who lent a hand in the draw for the CONCACAF Preliminary Competition during proceedings at St. Petersburg's Konstantin Palace.

With so many permutations and so much scope for upsets, the former defender is keeping his attention close to home. "Honestly, as long as Italy are there, I'll be happy," beamed the captain of the Azzurri squad that tasted glory at the 2006 World Cup, the year in which he was also named the FIFA World Player of the Year. "It's very important for us Italians to take part in the tournament. Everything else counts for very little," he added.

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