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Di Natale says penalty miss is forgotten

SoccerNews in Serie A 26 Jul 2008

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Udinese forward Antonio Di Natale said on Saturday he has put June's costly Euro 2008 penalty miss against Spain well and truly behind him.

Di Natale was one of two Italy players to miss penalties in the quarter-final shoot-out wich Spain won before going on to lift the trophy in Vienna.

But Di Natale, whose only start in the competition came in Italy's embarrassing opening 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Netherlands, says he is not letting that affect him ahead of the new season.

“I feel calm and collected. I realise I can't live off memories, obviously I look back at the good ones but like everyone I have to start from scratch again,” he said.

Di Natale has been at the centre of transfer speculation during the close season with some of Italy's top teams rumoured to be circling but the Italy international insists he is going nowhere.

“For the last time I will repeat that I'm not leaving Udinese even if everyone is convinced that by the end of the transfer window I'll be leaving for one squad or another.

“However, transfer speculation is good because it's nice to be wanted, I am afterall 31.”

Even at his age, Di Natale is hoping to be retained in the Italy squad by coach Marcelo Lippi, who took over from Roberto Donadoni following Italy's unsuccessful Euro 2008 showing.

“Lippi is someone capable and intelligent, he rewards those who do well on the field and I'll do my utmost to convince him to keep faith with me,” added Di Natale.

Udinese qualified for the UEFA Cup this season after finishing seventh last time out. At times they were even challenging for a top four spot and Champions League football this season but Di Natale is wary of the unfashionable club setting their sights too high.

“Udinese has to have modest ambitions, like the boss said, the aim is to get 40 points and stay up.”

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