Massimo Ambrosini told uefa.com Italy were "not going to Glasgow to draw" as the world champions bid to seal qualification against hosts Scotland on Saturday.
Massimo Ambrosini told uefa.com Italy were not going to Hampden Park to draw as the world champions face their crunch game against Scotland on Saturday.
Italy travel to Glasgow knowing a point will secure qualification for UEFA EURO 2008™ – provided they beat the Faroe Islands at home four days later. Raymond Domenech, coach of fellow Group B challengers France, has confidently predicted the outcome of the Hampden Park showdown, saying: "Italy are going to get a draw in Scotland." However, Ambrosini is certain that is not his side's intention.
'All three points'
"We are not going there to draw," the 30-year-old, who joins AC Milan team-mates Massimo Oddo, Daniele Bonera, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Alberto Gilardino in the squad heading for Scotland, told uefa.com. "When I heard Domenech's comment I smiled because we will not be playing calculated football. We will be going for all three points."
That heavy Milan presence in the Italy side has made international duty a pleasure for Ambrosini. "It's easy for us to play in the national team because most of us have been playing together for six years," said the midfielder. "We know each other very well and it could be a plus for [Roberto] Donadoni, because we know how to play together and there are never misunderstandings between us."
Milan lost 2-1 at Celtic FC in the UEFA Champions League last month and Ambrosini has some idea of what to expect from the passionate home supporters. "Almost every supporter at Hampden Park will be rooting for Scotland – they will sing from the first to the last minute," he said. "However, I like to hear the fans, I like to feel the audience around me. What I'm more concerned about is the fact that they usually get great results at home but it's not right to say that I'm scared – we respect Scotland but we are not scared at all."
Third in the section, two points behind leaders France and one behind Scotland with a game in hand on both, avoiding defeat in Glasgow is crucial to Italy, and Ambosini is adamant his side will not stumble at the last hurdle. "It's almost impossible to lose concentration now," he said. "I don't think we underestimate the matches against Scotland and the Faroe Islands because we have been working for this qualification for two years. If we were eliminated it would be like throwing all that work away."