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I can play anywhere, insists Del Piero

SoccerNews in European Championships 7 Jun 2008

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Italy star Alessandro Del Piero said he could play in just about any attacking position regardless of formation if that meant securing a starting berth for the world champions’ Euro 2008 opener against the Netherlands.

Speaking to the press at Italy’s Casa Italia base just outside Baden on Saturday, Del Piero insisted he can fill a variety of roles in the forward line.

He is most used to playing as a second striker, which he admits is his favourite position, just off a main target man, such as Bayern Munich’s Luca Toni, who will start up front for Italy.

But with Italy coach Roberto Donadoni usually opting to play a 4-3-3 formation, with Toni supported by two wide men – probably Mauro Camoranesi on the right and Antonio Di Natale on the left – Del Piero might have to fit in to a less familiar position if he does play.

“I can play in three different attacking positions,” said Del Piero. “I could play in Di Natale’s position, instead of Toni or as a second striker.

“In the last friendly (a 3-1 victory over Belgium) I played as a second striker (when coming on as a substitute) but the coach decides the team and I’m at his disposition.”

Del Piero admitted, though, that given the choice he would like to play off a main target man.

“It’s very clear and I’ve spoken a lot about it in the past, I’ve always played as a second striker,” he said.

“The coach knows this and I think I perform better in this position but I am at the disposition of the team.

“It’s a question of what the coach wants and what the needs of the team are.”

But the 33-year-old Juventus forward is not getting ahead of himself and is simply waiting to see what Donadoni decides to do.

“I’m not expecting anything for the first match against the Netherlands. As always I’ll be 110 percent prepared,” he said.

However, with the absence of captain Fabio Cannavaro, who was ruled out of the tournament on Monday with a damaged ankle, Del Piero feels he has extra responsibility in the squad as its most experienced member.

“I’m sorry for Cannavaro. But even if there are others who, due to the force of their personality or the number of caps they have earned, could wear the armband, if you ask me if I feel like the captain, I would say yes.

“I’m ready to take on this responsibility.”

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