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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 07:37, July 10, 2006
Lippi excited with World Cup win
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Italy head coach Marcello Lippi said it was the greatest moment of his life after leading Italy to the World Cup championship after beating France 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out.

Lippi said: "This is the most satisfying moment of my life. I dedicate the victory to my family. The players have unlimited heart, character and personality.

"Winning the World Cup is the greatest satisfaction that any coach or footballer can ever feel."

He added: "I've had the fortune to win the Champions League and lots of Serie A titles, but I've never felt anything like this."

His players converted all their five penalty kicks in the shootout and Lippi said: "We were dangerous all over the game. We kept out cool and we did it at last."

France captain Zinedine Zidane, who opened the scoring in Berlin's Olympic Stadium with a seventh-minute penalty, was sent off for a headbutt in extra time.

But he was shown the red card for ramming his head into Marco Materazzi's chest after an exchange of words.

Lippi defended Materazzi who came under fire from France boss Raymond Domenech for his reaction to Zidane's headbutt.

Lippi said: "You will realise that it was not Materazzi who got the attention of the referee. It was the fourth and fifth officials looking at the video at the edge of the pitch.

"We did not do anything. They saw it and they called the attention of the referee.

"When the French fans see television tomorrow they will see what happened and they will think differently.

"Materazzi was not acting. He took a blow and he was hurt."

But Lippi was also sorry for Zidane for this is the former Real Madrid player's last match.

"I am sorry because I hold him in great esteem. I told him that before the game. I was sorry for him to go. It is a shame if he goes on this note.

"That is if he does go because I told him before the game that he should not retire."

Lippi spoke high of his captain Fabio Cannavaro and his goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Lippi said: "This World Cup has given opportunities to two people who have suffered. One is Cannavaro. He is the greatest defender in the world. He is just the best but Buffon comes close.

"Buffon did not make the save from the penalties but he influenced Trezeguet's mistake. I have seen matches end up in penalty shoot-outs and the ones I have lost are the ones where the players didn't want to shoot.

"My boys wanted it really strongly tonight and that's why we scored all five."

Source: Xinhua

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