What with the uncollected refugee turning Naples into a no-go zone, national airline Alitalia bracing itself for an almighty crash and the cost of pasta going through the roof, the country certainly needs something to take its mind off its woes.Enter then the Boys in Blue who in times of crisis are always there to raise spirits.However, with the Euro 2008 tournament a mere week away no-one seems to be able to gather much enthusiasm for the Azzurri at the moment.There isnÃ¢ÂÂt even a barrel of rotten tomatoes fermenting to welcome Roberto Donadoni home if he fails to escape the grim reaperÃ¢ÂÂs spindly hand in the Group of Death.The Italy squad face Belgium on Friday evening in their final friendly before departing for Austria and Switzerland.The game will take place in Florence and with, the only Fiorentina player, Riccardo Montolivo shorn from the preliminary 24-man squad, there is little chance of the attendance topping 10,000.Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom and keeping with the slogan printed on the side of the team bus - Il cielo ÃÂ¨ sempre piÃÂ¹ blu (the sky is always bluer), itÃ¢ÂÂs all fun and frolics around the camp fire.What better way to get the first training session going at Coverciano than to have a couple of nubile visions of beauty sally onto the pitch, discarding their clothes down to the briefest of swimwear before one of them planted a kiss on Fabio Quagliarella.Apart from the out of breath security staff, the only other person put out was Antonio Cassano who the two dashing darlings completely ignored.
Security chase while Cannavaro and Materazzi (right) enjoy
The pepperoni-faced bawler may not be a hit with the ladies but he has certainly won over Donadoni and his staff, looking the sharpest of the attackers in training and may yet be a surprise starter for the opening group game with Holland.Wednesday saw the Ã¢ÂÂBorneoÃ¢ÂÂ football team turn up at the training ground looking for a game. The 11 orang-tans were in fact members of Greenpeace protesting against, one of the Azzurri sponsors, Nutella Ã¢ÂÂ makers of the chocolate spread so loved by Italians at breakfast time.Apparently, the destruction of rainforests has something to do with the process in producing the goo and the knock-on effect is an orang-tans shortage.The primates handed out an alternative Ã¢ÂÂbreakfast for championsÃ¢ÂÂ spread which the players, ever eager to grab a freebie, snatched off them with a little too much glee.Maybe Cassano and the lads know something about the growing food crisis than we do. Next stop Baden and the team base where no doubt a mountain of pasta awaits.