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Posted by Sumeet Paul on 06/09/2010

Four goals in twenty internationals isn’t a statistic that would strike fear into many defences this summer. However, having shown what he is capable of against Switzerland in the final pre-World Cup friendly for the Azzurri, Fabio Quagliarella is a man with something to prove, and the stage is set for him to leave his mark.

Having made successive Nazionale squads for both Euro 2008 and this year’s World Cup, the Neapolitan striker has staked his claim for a starting appearance against Paraguay on June 14. Operating best on the left-wing however, he will come up against former Udinese team-mate, and current Capocannoniere Antonio Di Natale for a starting berth. But with Toto failing to impress in his run-outs, is he really the right man to accompany Alberto Gilardino and Vincenzo Iaquinta in our trident attack?

Much can be said about Di Natale’s 29 goals this season, but the fact remains that the little magician has failed to recreate that form for la Nazionale. Quagliarella offers a different dimension. Other than being a workhorse, he has the skill, panache and ability to make something out of nothing to cause a stir this month...and hopefully right the way through to July 11.

Nevertheless, Quag will in all probability be deployed as an impact substitute, coming off the bench to make the difference...a sort of Giuseppe Rossi-esque role. Having scored 11 goals for Napoli last season, the former Sampdoria man knows how to find the net, the question is whether he will be given the chance.

Critics will continue to write off this Italian side, and it would appear things are heavily stacked against them. Even most of us are now clutching at straws and any sign of superstitious good fortune is welcome. The Azzurri have now drawn with the Swiss 1-1 in a pre-World Cup friendly on three occasions, the first of which came in 1982 and the second in 2006. No Italian needs reminding that these were both World Cup winning years, so...who’s ready for a fifth star come July 11?


Posted by forza azzurri on 06/10/2010

Totò only played half of one game, in which Italy did not at all sent balls to the forwards. They hardly had possession! And then he came on as a late sub for Quaglia, and started to create chances. Who's to say that he won't be effective from these 2 short games?
2010 is his time to shine!

Posted by Luca Toni on 06/11/2010

"Quags" making the team ahead of Totti or Toni is a JOKE. We have no 'dead ball' specialists other than PIRLO and no aerial attack in the box. Quags has as much right in South Africa as I do, which is NONE.

This is the WORST group of forwards I've ever seen for an Italian National Team. Terrible!

Posted by CPrati on 06/11/2010

As much as i like Luca Toni im kinda glad he wasnt chosen. The reason why is i think italy plays different when hes up top. They seem to just keep throwing the ball forward over and over hoping that he can bring one down. Dont get me wrong he had an amazin world cup in 2006 but he hasnt done much since then. I think Lippi made the right choice by not bringing him or totti. The only two things i would have done differently would be that i wouldve brought cassano and rossi on the team. cassano and pazzini together are amazing and i think cassano wouldve added more to our attack. As for Rossi he couldve gained the experience for future world cups and also been a great late sub with his speed and skill. But hey Lippi knows how to do it he proved all the critics wrong in 2006 and im sure he will prove us all wrong again. Forza Italia!!!

Posted by FORZA VIOLA!!! on 06/12/2010

How many goals did Toni score in WC 2006?
Thanks for playing.
He is old and slow ANYWAY.
Totti is old and been injured and didnt even play much this season in Seria A because of injury. btw, HE'S NOT A FORWARD.
Italy always brings enough scoring midfielders and defenders to help.
Watch out for Gilardino--he is going to surprise.

Posted by Anonymous on 06/12/2010

if italy wins everyone loves italy. if they suck they hate italy, if your are a real italian dont talk shit about it........ we have to stick together!!!!!!

Posted by Tomaso in toronto on 06/17/2010

I'm a die hard Italy fan and it breaks my heart to see a lavishly paid coach "Lippi" making the most assinine starting line up choices. Get rid of Gattuso and "lead foot" Iaquinta, who has no observable skills whatever!! he should have called on Cassano, Totti, Inzaghi,Del Piero and Aquilani. These are the kinds of players that would put fear in the hearts of their opponents.....unlike Iaquinta, who sadly, is like playing a man short. Lippi,,get your head examined!!! You missed the boat in 2010. What a shame....what a disgrace. i'm choked with embarassment.

Posted by Nunzio knows on 06/18/2010

OH MY GOD!!!!!! Tomaso in Toronto I couldn't agree with you more. What a disgrace that Cassano, Aquilani, Macheda, and Baletolli, Inzaghi, and Del Piero weren't picked to take us to victory.....what a shame. Any of these players ....any of them, even on a bad day, are miles better than Iaquinta. In the last World Cup Iaquinta's contribution was minimal to none, and please forgive my harsh observation, but he hasn't improved one iota....not a why pick him to start??? We're completely toothless with him up front on the pitch....Lippi, you got it all wrong and you're being handsomely paid to do it. Nice gig. What a shame. What a shame.

Posted by antonio on 06/24/2010

Maybe we should start Chiellini as a stiker. I think he scored as many goals as Iaquints this season...

Posted by Nunzio knows on 06/24/2010

Would the sorry Italian National Team please make their way to the Depature Lounge..........

This team has made me, my family,neighbours,the fans on College St in Toronto suffer humiliations galore. Not make it out of the group stage has even got my dog in such a state of depression it'll cost me thousands in doggy therapy.

Here's hoping that the next Manager will pick the players with the highest skill set and not succumb to politics and club loyalties.

For those interested I have an Iaquinta Jersey for sale on e bay. Highest offer so far is $3.25 (US).Surely it's worth more than that,,,,isn't it??

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