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Posted by Sumeet Paul on 06/02/2010

As the deadline loomed last night, Marcello Lippi selected the 23 men that will attempt to defend La Nazionale’s World Cup crown in South Africa in just over a week’s time. The biggest shock was the inclusion of Fabio Quagliarella, at the expense of Villarreal forward Giuseppe Rossi who misses out.

Rossi misses out ©Getty Images

The Final Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Cristian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan)

Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan)

Forwards: Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli)

Lippi had been overseeing training this week in Sestriere, and had the unenviable task of trimming his squad down from 28 to 23, and having five very difficult conversations. Those who are unfortunate to miss out include; AC Milan striker Marco Borriello, Giuseppe Rossi, Palermo full-back Mattia Cassani, Andrea Cossu and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

With Juventus winger Mauro Camoranesi limping out of training hours earlier, rumours began to circulate that the Azzurri hero of 2006 would be unable to participate this time around. However, Camo was passed fit and makes the cut. Nevertheless, Cagliari trequartista Cossu remains on stand-by.

With upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Switzerland, gone are the debates of who should be included. These 23 names now have the hopes and dreams of a proud footballing nation resting on their shoulders, and it remains to be seen whether they will be able to deliver.

If I were to hazard a guess at which side would face Paraguay on June 14, I would contemplate deploying a 4-3-3 system with this starting line-up;
Buffon, Criscito, Chiellini, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Marchisio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Di Natale, Iaquinta, Gilardino.

Any thoughts?

Prandelli agrees to become coach

There was also news this week that the Azzurri will have a new coach at the helm following the World Cup. As Signor Lippi steps aside, Cesare Prandelli has agreed to take up the reins and will begin his tenure in time for qualification for Euro 2012. The ex-Fiorentina coach will undoubtedly bring great experience and man-management skills to the job, and have many hopeful Italians looking forward to a bright future with a new younger outlook on selection policy.


Posted by Paul on 06/03/2010

He should have kept Grosso, even if Grosso came on as a sub. Sometimes he was the only offensive spark and could've privided that one moment of magic or brilliance for the Azzurri offensively. Forza Italia !

Posted by CS on 06/03/2010

By the look of last nights starting line-up, you´re very close. But will Lippi really field both Di Natale, Gilardino AND Iaquenta, and is Iaquenta in form at all? Sounds like a gamble...what do you make of their attacking options?

Posted by jay on 06/05/2010

I think should get pazzini and gilardino to attack. and di natale on the left ith pirlo injured, see who can fit in his place for the game against paraguay...

Posted by Alan Colonnetti on 06/05/2010

After our last two friendlies this looks like a very typical Italian start and we will see them play their normal first round manner a draw here a 1-0 win there, just doing the very minimal to get through. The team selection is really not that bad, remember this is Italy, anyone could play and the team would still score those fantastic goals so stylish and classically Italian. Toni really didn't perform well last time, Camoranesi needs to check his temper, classic Gattuso & Iaquinta. Clasic Italia. Forza Azzuri

Posted by Julius Philemon on 06/08/2010

In my own opinion i think Gilardino Pazzini and Di Natale should start the game while Iaquinta comes from the bench.

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