This Italy reminds me of World Cup winners, Lipps warns England

Italy Team 2012 Euro

Italy's 2006 World Cup winning boss Marcello Lippi paid a surprise visit to the current squad and praised them highly.

Italy may not be amongst the favourites to win the summer's World Cup, but Marcello Lippi claims they remind him of his 2006 heroes.

Lippi led Italy to glory in 2006 despite his squad not being expected to lift the trophy and current coach Cesare Prandelli will hope to do the same.

Prandelli has done a good job of rebuilding the national side after a post-World Cup hangover and they reached the final of Euro 2012, only to lose 4-0 to Spain.

The Italian squad are training for their opening game against England in Manaus on June 14 and have impressed Lippi.

"It was very emotional to greet my old players like Gigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo," Lippi told reporters.

"There are lots of similarities between this squad and the one that won the World Cup. They will need some luck and I hope that nobody gets injured.

"The indications are that everyone who has been selected will arrive at the tournament at full strength.

"The last 16 and quarter-final pairings will be fundamental, taking on Australia or Ukraine [as in 2006] is not like playing Brazil or Argentina."

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