PARMA, Italy (AFP) - Italy coach Marcello Lippi said the work begins now for the team's defence of their title after finishing their World Cup qualification campaign with an unimpressive 3-2 win over Cyprus.
Italy finished Group Eight undefeated after Alberto Gilardino scored a hat-trick in the last 12 minutes to turn around a 2-0 deficit into an unlikely victory.
It means the world champions will set off on the long preparation journey ahead of June's trip to South Africa in buoyant mood.
But after changing all 11 players from those who clinched qualification -- thanks to a last minute equaliser from substitute Gilardino -- with a 2-2 draw in Dublin on Saturday, Lippi said there was nothing to be learned from this game.
"I dont care about the result, if I had I wouldn't have changed 11 players," he said.
"I'm not disappointed, I will evaluate this match. We have six or seven months to work and we started tonight.
"I can't make a technical assessment because we changed 11 players, we knew we would have problems but I wanted to change things around because I wanted these players to experience the atmosphere.
"Cyprus dominated and they played well but they lost and that's the reality. We can't get anything out of this game but the door is still open for anyone (to make the World Cup squad)."
Despite the thrilling nature of Italy's victory they were poor for most of the game, certainly up until the last 12 minutes, and they were booed off at half-time.
Some fans also shouted at players to work harder, something which enraged Lippi.
"I'm fuming, I've already said it on the pitch, some of those fans forgot this team is world champions," he said.
"That means we went to the World Cup and finished ahead of everyone else.
"We've qualified for the next tournament after a great match (against Ireland) and now we will go and defend our title.
"We celebrated after that match and I promised the players I would make changes and we changed 11 players, something which I've never done before.
"We knew we could have some problems as this is a team that on Saturday scored four against Bulgaria.
"And for those people who during the game told us to go to work, they should be ashamed because we're the world champions.
"What angers me is the lack of respect for these incredible players who play with great heart and who despite the problems went on to win.
"To those who said go to work, I say you go to work."
|A. Gilardino||78' 80' 90+2'|
|Coach: M. Lippi|
for G. Rossi 46'
for S. Pepe 46'
for G. D'Agostino 66'
|Udinese v Juventus: Pirlo not taking Serie A lead for granted|
|Carlisle to return home|
|Prince Ali outlines campaign after submitting FIFA president bid|
|Costa must improve behaviour - Pellegrini|
|Olic seals Hamburg return|
|FIFPro planning legal action to protect unpaid players|
|Burnley rule out Liverpool move for Ings|
|Pochettino fumes at Tottenham schedule|
|Cork set for Swansea switch|
|Hull left in the cold by local gas board|
|Ancelotti: No repeat of Ronaldo indiscretion|
|Murray signs Palace extension|
|Garcia: Roma will sign a replacement for Destro|
|Sassuolo v Inter: Ranocchia hopes turning point has come|
|Congo v Democratic Republic of Congo: Neighbours clash in AFCON quarter-final|
|Fletcher in West Ham talks|
|Tunisia v Equatorial Guinea: Favourites wary of hosts|
|Carrick to miss four weeks|
|Figo submits bid for FIFA presidency|
|Costa hit with three-match ban|
|Villa confirm Sinclair loan|
|Hull agree fee for N´Doye|
|Milan clubs should merge, says agent Raiola|
|Redknapp brands Fer speculation ´absolute rubbish´|
|Destro completes Milan move|
|Iraq 2 UAE 3: Khalil´s brace sees off Iraqis|
|Ward-Prowse signs Southampton deal|
|Mandanda: Marseille will turn it around|
|Fuchs backs Schalke goalkeeper Giefer to shine|
|Wenger unlikely to risk Sanchez, could start Gabriel|
|Newcastle would need ´ridiculous´ bid to sell Sissoko|
|Kramer sure of sustained Champions League challenge|
|Sturridge would have steered Liverpool to Wembley - Rodgers|
|South Korea claim underdog status|
|We can handle the pressure, says Postecoglou|
|Cheyrou joins Toronto|
|AFC boss rejects Australia expulsion claims|
|Australia v South Korea: Socceroos eyeing maiden Asian Cup|
|Wolfsburg plan Malanda tribute|
|Blanc: Ibrahimovic, Cavani need to improve partnership|
|NBA´s Kings invest in Sacramento Republic|
|Djukic slams Ronaldo as ´ugly and conceited´|
|Marcelino hails Villarreal´s historic achievement|
|Destro: I want to show Milan are great|
|Copa del Rey Review: Aduriz breaks drought to send Bilbao through|
|Blaszczykowski to miss Leverkusen clash|
|Villarreal swoop for Bailly|
|CAF to consider alternatives to drawing lots|
|Ginola ´not giving up´ on FIFA presidency bid|
|Eto´o backs Sampdoria´s European dream|
|Chelsea v Manchester City: Costa out and Fabregas doubtful for title showdown|
|Sunderland v Burnley: Poyet calls for change in mentality|
|Serie A Preview: Crisis clubs meet as Parma head to Milan|
|West Brom v Tottenham: Pulis excited by McManaman arrival|
|Ginola campaign cancels crowdfunding page|
|Stoke City v QPR: Hughes hopeful of Diouf boost|
|Manchester United v Leicester City: Pearson has no time for fond memories|
|Thai consortium completes Wednesday purchase|
|Wigan exodus continues as Ramos joins Levante|
|Crystal Palace v Everton: Martinez hoping to reap Qatar training rewards|
|Liverpool v West Ham: Allardyce backs Carroll to shine on Anfield return|
|Strootman injury ´nothing serious´|
|Pearson backs Kramaric to adapt quickly|
|Hull City v Newcastle United: Carver calls for repeat KC Stadium rout|
|Rodgers not expecting immediate Sturridge impact|
|Palace land free agent Ameobi|
|Guinea progress past Mali in drawing of lots|
|Strootman requires surgery|
|Mathieu reveals details of Luis Enrique-Messi bust-up|
|New Inter signing Brozovic wants to be the next Frank Lampard|
|Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund: Visitors aim for fresh start|
|Eibar v Atletico Madrid: Capa up for a fight|
|Whelan and Crouch sign new Stoke deals|
|Mutch joins Palace from QPR|
|Eriksen delighted by League Cup double|
|Real Madrid v Real Sociedad: Moyes´ men out for rare Real double|
|Nolan impressed by Carroll attitude|
|Wenger: Gabriel will adapt to English football|
|Destro says yes to Milan move|
|Allardyce not expecting Sakho ban|
|Ribery sidelined for three Bayern Munich matches|
|Cahill refuses to rule out retirement after Asian Cup final|
|Pogba to leave Juve by end of next season - Agent|
|Martinez not planning Eto´o replacement|
|Blatter formally submits bid to remain FIFA president|
|Puncheon predicts ´great times´ for Palace|
|Donadoni has no plans to leave Parma and criticises Cassano|
|Mangala: My first season at City could have been better|
|UAE v Iraq: Rare podium finish on offer|
|Ryan spurred on by Australia´s 2011 heartbreak|
|Montella will not sell Cuadrado cheap|
|Mali, Guinea furious with tie-breaking procedure|
|Luis Enrique defends Neymar´s behaviour|
|Gabi: Referee lacked personality|
|Chile 3 USA 2: Gonzalez´s brace extends Americans´ pain|
|Franjic cleared of serious injury|
|Our progression was deserved - Pochettino|
|Ivory Coast´s tournament starts now - Renard|
|Allegri rejects Juve criticism|
|Atletico´s Arda Turan escapes red card after throwing boot at assistant referee|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Barcelona 3 (agg 2-4): Neymar double secures semi-final spot|
|Parma 0 Juventus 1: Morata late show wins it for visitors|
|Sheffield United 2 Tottenham 2 (agg 2-3): Pochettino books Wembley final|
|Ecuador dismiss Vizuete|
|Championship Preview: Middlesbrough out to continue run, Bournemouth seek response|
|Guinea 1 Mali 1: Lots to decide Group D runners-up|
|Cameroon 0 Ivory Coast 1: Gradel strike sends Renard´s men through|
|Lots to be drawn to decide AFCON qualifiers|
|Eredivisie Preview: De Boer warning for Ajax, leaders PSV host Willem II|
|Bundesliga Preview: Leaders Bayern and Wolfsburg kick off Ruckrunde|
|Howard boost for Everton|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Jardim plays down Monaco title hopes ahead of Lyon showdown|
|Costa charged by FA for alleged Can stamp|
|O´Keefe joins Cardiff|
|Dons teenager Alli in demand|
|Gabriel seals Arsenal switch|
|Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich: Guardiola eyes ´big step´ to Bundesliga title|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Rennes: Montanier seeks another upset in French capital|
|Martinez rules out panic buys|
|Gilardino targets Fiorentina goals|
|Milan agree Bocchetti loan|
|League Two Preview: Cambridge and Luton prepare to renew rivalries|
|Ronaldo hit with two-match ban|
|West Brom complete McManaman deal|
|Sullivan hits back in Sakho row|
|Richards: Cuadrado suited to Premier League|
|Figo to challenge for FIFA presidency|
|Inzaghi out to freshen up struggling Milan|
|Wigan agree a fee for Mckay|
|Carver eyes strong finish|
|Bowen cools talk of Stoke swoop for Sandro and Traore|
|Lazio-bound Morrison lands in Rome|
|Mourinho fined £25k for ´campaign´ claims|
|Mainz bring in Castillo|
|Villa: Lambert will not be sacked|
|Monk hopeful of adding new faces|
|Sainsbury ready to replace Franjic|
|Beckenbauer hopeful of Guardiola stay|
|Mourinho hits back at Costa critics|
|Rodriguez grateful for ´fundamental´ Ronaldo support|
|La Liga Preview: Real want revenge against Socieded|
|No Dallas move for Essien|
|Bale rubbishes United link, Ronaldo rift|
|Sahin in ´good shape´ for Bundesliga resumption|
|Rodgers slams Costa´s stamp collection|
|Under-fire Inzaghi urges patience|
|Rodgers: Courtois saved Chelsea|