Rossi misses out
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.
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.