Pro-Lippi bandwagon gathers pace after Spain defeat

It was a downbeat reaction from the dailies to Italy’s defeat in Spain on Wednesday.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed it was a step backwards in Roberto Donadoni’s preparations for Euro 2008 and felt that the coach had failed to get the best out of his side which they claimed: “lacked invention.”

Press invention is something Donadoni is getting used to and he is becoming somewhat weary of a growing campaign to have him ousted and Marcello Lippi returned to his rightful place as the custodian of the country’s hopes for the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Even Azzurri team manager Gigi Riva was jumping on the pro-Lippi bandwagon when he let it slip on purpose that he wouldn’t be surprised if the old cigar chomper was reinstated when things fell apart in Austria and Switzerland.

There have been reports that Donadoni turned down a new contract last week after the federation demanded a get-out clause if the team did not reach the semi-finals of the competition at least.

Corriere dello Sport claimed Benfica would be Donadoni’s next port of call, following in the footsteps of Giovanni Trapattoni who stepped down to take over the Portuguese side after Euro 2004.

Of  course, Tuttosport were clambering for Alex Del Piero to be included in the final 23-man squad and reproduced a team photo with Del Boy’s head superimposed on each member of the starting line-up.

“Without Del Piero, it’s little Italy,” ran their headline.

However, they had no time for such trivial matters as the national side - not when Juventus are lining up another host of new names for the summer.

AS Roma winger Amantino Mancini is latest to be linked with the Old Lady in a deal that would take Vincenzo Iaquinta to the capital.

Frank Lampard is definitely on his way according to the Turin oracle as he misses Claudio Ranieri and the same is true for Didier Drogba who will follow Jose Mourinho to Inter in the summer.