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Lippi: So much to like about Scottish football

Lippi had named Scotland as one of Europe's emerging forces and saw his prediction vindicated with the Tartan Army's victory in Paris.

Lippi said: "In our last game against them their manager was Walter Smith. We won 2-0 in Milan but this was gained only with two special moments from Andreas Pirlo. Scotland caused us various problems and the return will not be easy.

"France played them with a feeling of superiority. It was if they thought 'We will score a goal eventually' but it did not come."

Lippi lavish more praise on Scotland when he said: "Theirs is a football which has grown from a tactical point of view.

"In this past year we have seen Celtic take Milan to extra time in the San Siro. I am an admirer of Alex McLeish and he is doing a very good job with Scotland.

"I was invited by the SFA to a conference. I told of my way of constructing the Italian team. McLeish seemed very interested. He said he learned a lot. There is a new cultural growth in Scottish football and it cannot be ignored."

Lippi believes there is an iron will about Scotland.

He said: "France played most of the game in Scotland's half but the Scots have a very good defence. Their players will sacrifice themselves for the team and they are very quick on the counter-attack. They have come of age. They are playing as if they are saying 'We cannot lose'.

"Technically they are also better. Look at Celtic. They have tactical organisation, pace, courage and the technique of Shunsuke Nakamura. The national team is like a mirror of this Celtic side. They play with the same authority.

"There was not one individual who stood out in the Scotland team. It was the group that impressed me so much. When you have so many players working so hard it is the greatest leveller of all. Scotland are no longer a team from the lower levels. The small guy has grown up."

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Tribal Football Staff

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