Zambrotta not contemplating exit
Veteran defender confident of qualification
By Mike Barton. Last Updated: June 22, 2010 3:15pm
Zambrotta: Not thinking of exit
Gianluca Zambrotta has insisted that Italy are not even contemplating the thought of being knocked out of the World Cup at the group stage.
The holders are in danger of not qualifying for the last 16 having drawn their first two matches of the tournament, the first coming against Paraguay and the second, an embarrassing draw with minnows New Zealand.
Italy now must emerge victorious against Slovakia in Johannesburg, who themselves could qualify should they beat the Italians and New Zealand fail to win against Paraguay.
They could still make it through with just a draw; however Zambrotta stated that they were not even thinking about being eliminated.
"We haven't thought about it and we're not thinking about it," said the 33-year-old.
"If it happens we'll think about it then, it doesn't even enter our heads. We're looking at the glass half full, not half empty.
"It's not the first time we've had this type of game, we know the importance and we'll give it everything."
Zambrotta was part of the squad that was triumphant in 2006, and is confident that they could call upon their experience to make it through.
Italy also have previous history of slow starts, having scraped through the group stage in 1982 with three draws before eventually winning the competition.
"I've got no fear, I'm very confident, we're all confident that we'll go forward," he said.
"We've still got a great chance to progress but we need to work on defending dead balls.
"In two games we've conceded two goals from dead balls. We don't have a magic wand so we have to be more careful and more decisive defending them."
The right-back also hit out at those who lambasted his side for their draw against the All Whites, a team ranked 73 places below them.
"I don't think it was humiliating, we played a good game, we created many chances and gave nothing away," said Zambrotta.
"Of course we have to do something more but we played a good match against New Zealand.
"There's little balance in criticism, one day you're a star, the next day you're in the stables. Critics need to be more objective."