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Coach
Marcello LIPPI
12.04.48
Italy coach since June 2008
His previous two-year stint as Azzurri coach saw them win the 2006 World Cup. He has racked up club trophies, including five Serie A titles, four Italian Supercups and a Champions League crown, and will be hell-bent on seeing Italy retain the world crown.

Goalkeepers
Gianluigi BUFFON
28.01.78
Juventus
100 caps (0 goals)
His injury-enforced absence from Juventus earlier this year was certainly one of the reasons for his club’s disappointing season. Quite simply, he remains one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Morgan DE SANCTIS:
26.03.77
Napoli
3 caps (0 goals)
Around the international squad for five years, he returned to Italy this year after two seasons abroad, first with Sevilla and then with Galatasaray, clearly with an eye on winning a call-up for South Africa.

Federico MARCHETTI
07.02.83
Cagliari
4 caps (0 goals)
A major “discovery” last season, he made his debut in a friendly against Northern Ireland last June. Now established as the second choice and clearly a future heir to Buffon’s throne, he appears to have all the qualities of a top-class goalkeeper.

Defenders
Salvatore BOCCHETTI
30.11.86
Genoa
3 caps (0 goals)
Full-back who acquitted himself well when making his debut last October. He has been in excellent form for Genoa and looks good for a squad place for all the same reasons as his club team-mate Criscito.

Leonardo BONUCCI
01.05.87
Bari
1 cap (goals)
In 2009, was transferred to Genoa, as part of the deal that sent Thiago Motta and Diego Milito to Inter. An impressive debut against Cameroon in March might just earn this central defender a surprise call-up.

Fabio CANNAVARO:
13.09.73
Juventus
132 caps (2 goals)
Arguably Italy’s best player in Germany four years ago, he is clearly no longer playing to that stratospheric level – and some even question the wisdom of playing him in South Africa. Recent good form, however, suggests that his massive experience will mask potential problems.

Giorgio CHIELLINI
14.08.84
Juventus
28 caps (2 goals)
Has looked less than infallible as the Juventus defence crashed all around him this season. At his best, a solid centre-back who is ultra-competitive and dangerous in the air when he moves forward for the set pieces. An automatic first choice for the last three seasons.

Domenico CRISCITO
30.12.86
Genoa
5 caps (0 goals)
Made his international debut against Switzerland last August and, given the all too obvious cracks in the Juventus-block defence, his youth, dynamism and willingness to get forward could serve Italy well.

Christian MAGGIO
11.02.82
Napoli
3 caps
No youngster but rather an experienced, versatile right-sided defender or midfielder. Maggio usually plays as a right midfielder/winger for Napoli since they play in a 3-5-2 formation. However he has played at right back for the majority of his career.

Gianluca ZAMBROTTA
19.02.77
Milan
92 caps (2 goals)
Has occasionally looked jaded this season, but earns his place both because of his great experience and also because of his versatility – he can play on either flank, in defence or in midfield.

Midfielders
Mauro CAMORANESI
04.10.76
Juventus
53 caps (5 goals)
Lippi has always looked to him to relieve Pirlo of playmaking responsibilities since, at his best, he is one of those players who can make things happen. The only Italo-Argentine of the modern era.

Daniele DE ROSSI
24.07.83
Roma
53 Caps (8 goals)
Combines quantity with quality in his ball-winning central midfield role. Roma’s excellent season arguably owes more to him than any other Roma player, Totti included. As always, much will ride on his shoulders.

Gennaro GATTUSO
09.01.78
Milan
71 caps (1 goal)
Fond memory of his many past outstanding performances for Italy probably him a place in South Africa. He once said that, for him, winning the ball in midfield was as good as winning the Ballon D’Or. A combative battler, he remains much respected by colleagues.

Claudio MARCHISIO
19.01.86
Juventus
4 caps (0 goals)
A rarity in that he is one of the few Juventus players to have emerged from this season with his reputation enhanced. A dynamic, attacking, left-sided midfielder, he represents the best of the Italian “new wave”.

Riccardo MONTOLIVO
18.01.85
Fiorentina
12 caps (0 goals)
Recalled for recent friendlies, could get call as midfield cover. In Italy’s provisional squad before the Euro 2008 tournament, but failed to make the final 23.

Angelo PALOMBO
25.09.81
Sampdoria
15 caps (1 goal)
One of the surprises of Lippi’s second coming. In the injury-enforced absence of Gattuso, he established a firm hold of a central midfield berth. Very much a no-thrills, no-spills defensive midfielder in the best Italian traditions and for those reasons very useful.

Simone PEPE
30.08.83
Udinese
13 caps (0 goals)
Attacking midfielder and regular Lippi selection who played in three of Italy’s four autumn qualifiers. Noted for his quick pace and flamboyant dribbling.

Andrea PIRLO
19.05.79
Milan
65 caps (8 goals)
If he finds space and plays well, then so too does Italy. One of the last of the great midfield playmaker/schemers, he has struggled at times in this season’s less than vintage Milan sie.

Forwards
Antonio DI NATALE
13.10.77
Udinese
31 Caps (9 goals)
In prolific goalscoring form thias season despite Udinese being at the wrong end of the table. Also scored important goals for Italy during the qualifying, particularly two in the opening win away to Cyprus.

Alberto GILARDINO
05.07.82
Fiorentina
39 caps (16 goals)
His ability to play as a central target man who holds up the ball for attacking midfielders has long made him a Lippi favourite. Furthermore, two excellent seasons at Fiorentina have done him no harm.

Vincenzo IAQUINTA
21.11.79
Juventus
35 caps (5 goals)
Faster and more dynamic than Gilardino, he too stands high in Lippi’s estimation. Although he has had a very indifferent, injury interrupted season, he may well get the call-up.

Giampaolo PAZZINI
02.08.84
Sampdoria
6 caps (1 goal)
A player brought into the side by Lippi, his development has greatly benefitted from the creative genius of “bad boy” club team-mate Antonio Cassano. Faster and more mobile than either Iaquinta or Gilardino, he offers a useful alternative.

Fabio QUAGLIARELLA
31.10.83
Napoli
17 caps (3 goals)
Experienced campaigner who has had a good first season with Napoli. Renowned for scoring spectacular goals from unconventional angles that often catch the goalkeeper unawares.

Francesco TOTTI
27.09.76
Roma
58 caps (9 goals)
The temptation to recall the man last seen in an Italy shirt in the Berlin Final may prove too strong. For most of the winter, Lippi and Totti have exchanged public expressions of mutual respect and admiration. A dramatic, last-minute recall for the most gifted Italian of his generation cannot be excluded.

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