Christian Vieri believes that the mentality of Italian football must change if it is to compete with Spain and England in the entertainment stakes.

‘We need to change mentality – that is the problem with everything here,’ Vieri told Gazzetta Dello Sport. ‘Today in Italy we play badly, we produce ugly football.

‘The Spanish and English championships are more entertaining, more spectacular,’ added the Inter striker. ‘Our football is behind in respect to the others.

‘You can hear Italian coaches abroad say that as well.’

Vieri was also critical of the cautious approach adopted by the national side at the World Cup finals, believing that Italy showed too much respect to their opponents.

‘Notwithstanding everything that happened we should have gone forward in that tournament because we were much stronger,’ he said.

‘That is the truth that adds to the disappointment – with the attackers we had we should have had more belief,’ said Vieri.

‘Instead we thought too much about the opposition and that, in my opinion, was our problem. ‘Have you heard what Ronaldo said?’We play with three or four attackers because we are Brazil – it is the others who should be worried about us”.

‘There you go, I would like to be able to say the same – ‘We are Italy’. If you think about the other team you are not strong.’