WORLD CUP: Anni's split loyalty

Dorset Echo: TERRAS’ LEGEND: Anni Iannone TERRAS’ LEGEND: Anni Iannone

ITALIAN Terras’ legend Anni Iannone has split allegiances going into England’s crucial World Cup opener with Italy this evening (11pm).

The former Weymouth star, who made 710 appearances for the club scoring 182 goals between 1976 and 1993, does not mind who is victorious in tonight’s vital contest in Man-aus, as long as the contest is entertaining for the neutral.

“I am definitely looking forward to it,” the former frontman told Echosport.

“It has been a long time since I played but being Italian, I still follow Italian football. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who wins as long as the football is good.

“There are much better countries in the mix with Brazil and Argentina and I even fancy Belg-ium to do well. I also think whoever gets past Germany could be the ones to go on and win it.”

Iannone, a retired window cleaner who achieved iconic status with Weymouth, admits that he has not seen his former club in action recently, as he spends a lot of his time on the golf course. He added: “I haven’t been to watch Weymouth lately if I’m honest, I am into golf now.

“I play a lot of golf at weekends and go away to play, I get down there for the odd game when it’s a special occasion but not as much as I used to.

“It is nice to go back but it is a long time since I played now and a lot of faces have gone from there, it’s been a long time.”

Iannone found the net with a superb looping header to set the platform for the Terras’ famous 3-2 FA Cup comeback victory, over Cardiff in 1982.

And although that goal is one of a number of cherished memories from his time with the outfit, the Terras’ favourite believes it is now remarkably difficult for the club to attract top players.

He added: “When I first came in ’76 it was a great club, the way it was run was superb and it was great. I got a job down here but today it’s very tough.

“As a club now, if you haven’t got the financial backing you aren’t going to get quality players down here because work is extremely difficult to find.”

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