Paolo Di Canio was back at the Boleyn Ground to watch Italy take on Ivory Coast and found time to talk to WHUTV about his thoughts for the new season.
The Hammers hero spent four memorable years at the club between 1999 and 2003 but has never lost his affinity with the Boleyn Ground, despite living back in his homeland. Di Canio was invited to Tuesday's match by the club and was keen to take up the opportunity to see the Azzurri start their new era under coach Cesare Prandelli with a game in London, albeit a 1-0 defeat.
"I am happy because I have come back home," he said. "I am also proud that the first time Italy played under Prandelli that they decide to play at Upton Park. It was a great honour for me to be here.
"OK it was not a great game but it was the first time for many players, the first cap for them. Prandelli is a good manager but he needs to work hard. He knows that. We have time to build a great national team in the future."
As ever, Di Canio was eager to talk about the Hammers and he was his usual optimistic self when looking ahead to the new campaign. Having just spent the summer completing his coaching qualifications, he was well placed to consider the merits of the club's squad under Avram Grant.
"I am still a West Ham fan. I hope they can have a better season because of course it was not a very good season last year but I think positive. We have to believe in the job of the new manager and the new players because I am confident we can have a much better season."
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE INTERVIEW AND HEAR HIS THOUGHTS
ON THE NEW KITS AND THE PAOLO DI CANIO LOUNGE