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World Cup 2010 draw: Group F reaction
04/12/2009  by Telegraph.co.uk
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Warning: Italy coach Marcello Lippi warned players and fans not to get complacent after a kind draw

How Italy qualified for World Cup 2010: European Group 8 winners.

Manager: Marcello Lippi
Captain: Fabio Cannavaro
Premier League players: Alberto Aquilani (Liverpool).

Italy coach Marcello Lippi sounded a warning to celebrating Italians after the reigning world champions were on Friday given what looked an easy draw in the World Cup.

Italy were grouped alongside debutants Slovakia, outsiders New Zealand and South Americans Paraguay in Group F.

But while that looks to be one of the weakest pools in the whole draw, Lippi warned that it would be dangerous to start thinking along those lines.

"The more you think a group will be easy the more difficult it becomes," he said.

"Paraguay were top of the South American qualifying group for a long time before being overtaken by Brazil at the end.

"Slovakia are improving, they have players we know well, also some who play in Italy and they beat some good teams to get here.

"I'm neither satisfied nor upset. We will start to assess our opponents and their characteristics.

"They are all difficult opponents but then we will also cast an eye on the (possible) second round and quarter-final (opponents)."

How Paraguay qualified for World Cup 2010: South America group, 3rd.

Manager: Gerardo Martino
Captain: Denis Caniza
Premier League players: Paolo da Silva (Sunderland), Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City).

"It's a great experience for the younger players to face such great competitors," Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said after the draw.

How Slovakia qualified for World Cup 2010: European Group 3 winners.

Manager: Vladimír Weiss
Captain: Miroslav Karhan
Premier League players: Martin Skrtel (Liverpool), Vladimír Weiss (Manchester City).

"It is very hard to play against Italy, they have a lot of good players. It doesn't matter if they are 30 or 32 (years old), there is a lot of experience," manager Vladimir Weiss told reporters.

"Everybody wanted to get Slovakia or New Zealand. We are both in the group. Today the top power is Italian and everything is open."

How New Zealand qualified for World Cup 2010: Oceania/Asia qualifier.

Manager: Ricki Herbert
Captain: Ryan Nelsen
Premier League players: Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers).

"We know Italy are a global power and the world champions so we are not going to make any bold statements that we are going to go out and beat them. But we said we want to go the World Cup and we want to play well and we want to go away with some good results," New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert said.

"Most of the sides will be thinking they've got New Zealand in the group and see it as an opportunity to grab three points and move their aspirations forward, but we will be going there to make a statement and to make it as difficult as we can."

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