Cannavaro issues Azzurri warning

Former captain Fabio Cannavaro is warning of dark days ahead for the Azzurri as they prepare to bounce back from World Cup humiliation in their Euro 2012 qualifiers (Italy 7/1 Euro 2012 Outright).

The 2006 world champions have lost their grip on their crown after a limp exit following their poor Group F campaign where Marcello Lippi’s men finished bottom behind Paraguay, Slovakia and even minnows New Zealand.

Lippi will now be replaced for the Euro 2012 qualifiers by Cesare Prandelli but Cannavaro, who has retired from the international stage after a record 136 appearances, says Italian football is facing a crisis.

He said: “I think there are not many changes we can make. At the moment, Italy is not producing players like in my generation when we had great players.

“It’s not just the national team, it’s the clubs. We have good players but not top drawer. I’ve been saying for a while that the system has to change.”

Italy face Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia and the Faroe Islands in Group C, starting against Estonia on September 3.

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