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Ukraine not a one-man army, says Coach

Written by: Staff
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Germany, June 29: Coach Marcello Lippi said striker Andriy Shevchenko would not be the sole threat to Italy when they face Ukraine in the World Cup quarter-final tomorrow.

Former European Player of the Year Shevchenko played seven seasons in Italy for AC Milan before moving to English club Chelsea last month and is Ukraine's biggest talent.

But Lippi said it would be a mistake to view the striker as the only danger to Italy's progress into the semi-finals.

''He is a great player but they had two years of fantastic performances in qualification and then in this World Cup, after they suffered against a brilliant Spanish performance, they qualified from their group and haven't conceded a goal,'' said the Italy coach.

''They have some interesting players and we will see how they replace (injured forward Andriy) Voronin. They cover a lot of ground during a game, they are strong athletically and play good football.

''We can't think that if we take care of Shevchenko then we have taken care of Ukraine -- he is one player in the end,'' Lippi said.

The Italy coach refused on Thursday to give any clues about his starting lineup saying ''I will pick the most balanced side''.

Justifying his decision to change his side for each game, he said: ''at a World Cup you have to spread the load of energy''.

Francesco Totti, dropped for the second round tie with Australia before coming off the bench and scoring a last minute winner from the penalty spot, is almost certain to return to the starting line-up.

''I have seen some important improvements in some of our players above all Totti who produced something very important on Monday. He gave himself and us all an indescribable joy,'' said the Italy coach.

''He has recovered completely from the tiredness he felt after the game against the Czech Republic,'' he added.

Lippi said he wasn't thinking about possible semi-final opponents Germany and Argentina yet.

''I am thinking exclusively about Ukraine, beating them and getting into the last four,'' he said.

''We are proud of what we have done up to now. It has been hard at times but it would be great to be among the best four teams in the world, that would be fantastic. When you are in the semi-finals then anything can happen,'' he said.

REUTERS

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