Marcello Lippi has again refused to comment on whether he will continue as Italy manager after the World Cup.
Growing speculation indicates that Lippi will step down from his current post after South Africa.
The World Cup-winning coach is optimistic of his side’s chances this summer but would not be drawn on his future with the national team.
“There’s no reason to know now who the coach will be on 12th July (the day after the World Cup final),” he said.
“There’s a World Cup at our door, in this competition Italy has always been a part of its history given that we’ve won four titles and are second only to Brazil, which is the quintessential football country and has won five.
“And if we’d have had a bit more luck in the penalty shoot-out in 1994 it would be Italy which has five titles.
“The key is to create a group of players with a high technical level but also the right psychology.
“Everyone has to be ready to put himself at the service of the others, that’s the only way to get results.
“Of course you also need technical quality, players like (Gianluigi) Buffon, (Fabio) Cannavaro, (Francesco) Totti and (Alessandro) Del Piero.
“If you only have a compact group of good lads you won’t go very far hence you need quality.
“Just how much of that we have we’ll discover during the World Cup.”
If Italy do manage to defend their title it would be the first time they have done so since Vittorio Pozzo led them to consecutive triumphs in 1934 and 1938.
“I’ve never dreamed about doing what Pozzo did but I am aware that it’s a possibility in South Africa.,” Lippi added.
“Of course if it’s happened only once in almost 100 years it means that it’s not an easy thing to achieve, but you can never say never.”