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Posted by Sumeet Paul on 04/22/2010

49 days, 2 hours and 36 minutes. At the time of writing, that is all that stands between Italy and the commencement of the biggest showpiece in world football. La Coppa del Mondo. As Marcello Lippi begins to construct his squad for South Africa, Italians across the country and beyond will await his decisions with much anticipation and in the hope that the wily old tactician will once again lead the Azzurri to glory for a fifth time.


Marcello Lippi has decisions to make ©Getty Images

Having been drawn in a tricky group alongside Paraguay, Slovakia and New Zealand in Group F, it would be acceptable to harbour hopes that La Nazionale will progress to the knock-out stages. However, it would be foolish to underestimate any of the three countries paired with Signor Lippi’s men, and with a potential clash against Holland in the second round, the silver-haired coach will undoubtedly realise the importance of finishing top of the group.

As the countdown continues and the final squad, which is to be announced on June 10th, begins to take shape, many debates continue to rage on with regards to the inclusion of certain individuals. It would appear that Signor Lippi has ’16 or 17 places’ decided, leaving half a dozen seats on the plane to South Africa up for grabs. As the coach has previously stated he will continue to keep faith in his experienced veterans, but is this a World Cup too far for some? With Fabio ‘Il Capitano’ Cannavaro reaching the ripe old age of 36, and several others the wrong side of 30, is he risking a repeat of the humiliation suffered at the disastrous Confederations Cup held last year? Or is experience the key to successfully defending the trophy that was so valiantly won in Berlin four years ago?

The most controversial sagas which have dominated newspaper headlines for months are those of a Mr Antonio Cassano and a young Mario Balotelli. When considering the potential squad travelling to South Africa, aside from the high average age, the next most noticeable aspect is the stark lack of creativity. With Andrea Pirlo providing the exception, there is an abundance of gritty and ‘ball-winning’ midfielders in the side but a deficiency in gifted players able to run with the ball and take on an opponent. If Francesco Totti were to decline a return to the international fold, it would become imperative for ‘Fantantonio’ to aid the Italian cause. With 8 goals to his name this year in Serie A and a significant number of assists, the question remains as to whether Lippi will forgive and forget the Sampdoria number 99. The same must be said of ‘Super Mario’, who despite his most recent fall-out at Inter remains one of the country’s brightest prospects and capable of setting the World Cup alight.

Having brought scenes of jubilation and triumph to Circus Maximus in Rome in the summer of 2006, the remaining factor amongst all the talk is that...In Lippi We Trust.

Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 05/10/2010

lets not get ahead of ourselves here..italy a fifth world cup..stueps...never

Posted by Gretalian on 05/11/2010

I have faith in Lippi
FORZA AZZURI

Posted by italiapersempre on 05/19/2010

we need these players: CASSANO, PAZZINI, MICCOLI, MONTOLIVO, GILARDINO, DI NATALE, BALOTELLI. WITH THOSE GUYS HEADING UP OUR ATTACK ALONG WITH PLAYERS LIKE PIRLO AND TONI. OUR ATTACK WILL BE GREAT. AND AS DEFENSE WE SHOULD HAVE CHIELLINI WITH CANNAVARO ALONG WITH THE YOUNGSTER SANTON + LEGROTAGLIE OR SOMEONE, AND OF COURSE BUFFON AS KEEPER. WITH THT KIND OF TEAM ITALY HAS A REALLY GOOD SHOT AT MAKING SOME SERIOUS IMPRESSIONS. LIPPI SHOULD HAVE NEVER TAKEN THE JOB HE'S RUINING THE TEAM!!!!!! WE ALL KNOW 2006 WAS GREAT AND ALL BUT!! IT'S BEEN 4 YRS AND TEAMS HAVE CHANGED AND HAVE GOTTEN BETTER THEY'RE LOOKING TO TAKE US DOWN. WE NEED TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, WE WON'T STAND A CHANCE IF LIPPI KEEPING THE SAME LINEUP. (BTW TOTTI IS A LOSER I HATED HIM THEN AND STILL DO.) AND CAMORANSEI CAN'T PLAY EITHER, HE SOILS THE ITALIAN JERSEY. IN SHORT LIPPI SHOULD QUIT AND SOMEONE WHO WANTS A GOOD CHANGE SHOULD BE COACH.

Posted by Anonymous on 05/30/2010

It doesn`t matter who plays,or coaches it is a known fact that italy will always be a force, as history shows with winning 4 world cups, never underestimate the Azzurri`s

Posted by zucatto59 on 06/12/2010

italy has no chance to win. they`'re too old and have no one to dominate. its Spain or Argentina's time for victory. can someone tell me what's wrong with England?

Posted by aliyu tijjani aliyu on 06/19/2010

pls put an experienced player in your attack because is all about experience

Posted by Lato on 06/24/2010

The Azzuris will get there no matter what it takes.They can only deliver when it matters so much.The game is going to be very tight for them but they will surely overcome.Italy 2- Slovak-0.

The world champions remains a big team any time any day.

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