Corini praises Palermo fans

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Palermo skipper Eugenio Corini insists that the Sicilian outfit have been inspired by their passionate fans to challenge for a UEFA Champions League spot.

In an exclusive interview with skysports.com, the 34-year-old praised the Palermo faithful for showing ambition and unswerving loyalty throughout a fairytale season.

The club only returned to Serie A this season after a lengthy absence, although have adapted quickly to rush up the league into sixth place.

They are currently just four points adrift of what would have seemed an unlikely European spot at the start of the season, and Corini is confident that they can delight their fans by clinching a place in Europe's premier cup competition.

"The people of Palermo were absolutely delighted to see the team back in Serie A after a half-century wait," Corini told skysports.com.

"But now everybody is confident that we can do even more and make their dream come true.

"In every other city, the team members would think there is too much pressure, but in Palermo it's different.

"We really believe the love of the people can boost us to incredible results, in fact we always perform better in home games at Stadio Barbera."

Rumours in Italy suggest that the Rosanero will look to sign a major star in the summer if they achieve European qualification, as the club are bankrolled by wealthy businessman Maurizio Zamparini.

World stars such as Alvaro Recoba, Alessandro Del Piero and even Zinedine Zidane have all been linked to the Sicilian side, and Corini admitted that he would be delighted to see the club make such an unequivocal statement of ambition.

"What can I say? We are talking about three of the best players in the world and if any of them should come, it would be a dream for us all," Corini continued.

"Am I confident about their signature? Well with Zamparini you can never tell, everything is possible."

The midfielder is also targeting personal development, and admitted a desire to represent Marcelo Lippi's Italian national team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

"I still feel fit, so why shouldn't I think about it? I was very close to an Azzurri call-up many times in the past, but it never materialised.

"I hope that my performances with Palermo will help me to reach this target, that would really mean a lot to me."