Former Italy captain and FIFA World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro feels Cesare Prandelli’s side have the strength to win the 2014 tournament.
Cannavaro was skipper when Italy secured their fourth World Cup triumph with a penalty shootout win over France at the 2006 final.
Italy failed to get out of the group stage in South Africa in 2010 but produced a strong performance under the guidance of coach Prandelli at the 2012 UEFA European Championships, where they were beaten 4-0 in the final by Spain.
However, Prandelli’s men face a difficult task to qualify from Group D, which also features England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
Yet Cannavaro, who retired in 2011 and is now working as an assistant coach for Al Ahli in the UAE, has faith in Italy’s abilities.
“Italy are a strong team and Cesare Prandelli is a very good coach,” Cannavaro told FIFA Weekly. “I hope the lads can bring home the trophy.”
Preparations for the World Cup, which is to be held in Brazil, have been blighted by delays to the completion of a number of stadia, and there remain concerns over the country’s readiness to host the competition.
Still, Cannavaro is confident it will be a success.
“When the talk turns to Brazil, you talk about football,” Cannavaro added. “Obviously the news emanating from the host nation isn’t all positive.
“We keep hearing they’re late with completing the stadiums for example. But at the end of the day it’ll be a fantastic World Cup. We’re all going to enjoy it a lot.”