Pierre Berbizier insists Italy have the potential to reach the top of the rugby ladder and believes they should fear no team.
Berbizier has been placed in charge of the Azzurri following the departure of John Kirwan and he delivered an upbeat message at his first press conference since taking over the job.
The former France captain believes that once the Italian players get over their ''inferiority complex'' they will be able to move forward as a team.
''I want to give a national identity to this team,'' said the 46-year-old, who takes over a side that finished bottom of this year's RBS 6 Nations table after suffering five consecutive defeats.
''I believe this team has got great potential but they need to lose their inferiority complex against the big rugby teams.
''This is a young squad with a big future. If they get on the right path I'm sure they can fear nobody and consequently they can move forward to the next level.
''I am ambitious for Italy: we want to compete with the best teams and I believe we have got the potential to do that.
''We will follow the work done by the previous coaching staff, but we are racing against time to compete and be ready at our best for the next World Cup.''
Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) president Giancarlo Dondi is delighted to have secured the services of a coach with a playing record of the calibre of Berbizier's.
''I'm happy and proud to sign a great coach with a glorious past as a rugby player like Pierre Berbizier,'' Dondi said.
''This is the signing we wanted before we go to the World Cup, and now we have it we can begin to plan up to the 2007 World Cup in France.
''It will be a great challenge for us and for him, trying to get the best from our excellent players and narrowing the gap between us and the strong teams who are still in front of us.
''I hope Berbizier will be capable of achieving with us what he had done previously, which I'm sure will benefit our Italian Rugby movement and him of course.''
Berbizier, who made 56 appearances as a scrum-half for France, led Les Bleus to Five Nations glory in 1993 during a three-year spell as coach.