Lippi has announced his final squad of 23 he will be taking to South Africa, while there aren’t too many major surprises, there were two exclusions in the attacking department which seem a bit strange.
Here’s the final 23-man squad:
Goal-keepers: 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), Christian 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)
Strikers: Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli)
The two main exclusions that should be noted are Giuseppe Rossi and Marco Borriello, it seems like Quagliarella beat them in the race to be the fifth striker. We saw Giuseppe Rossi have a fantastic Confederations Cup where he lit up the team with his individual brilliance, but for Lippi that must’ve not been enough even though Quagliarella hasn’t achieved much in his International career. Marco Borriello’s exclusion is more understandable, the AC Milan striker has had injury problems the entire season, and although he has scored some great bicycle kicks, he still hasn’t shown that he can perform on the International stage.
There were three other players cut other than Rossi and Borriello, and among them was the goal-keeper Sirigu, who I would’ve taken over De Sanctis. The other two who will remain home are Cassani and Cossu, both inexperienced and in my opinion, just not good enough. Lippi has made some relatively controversial decisions on who to cut, but it doesn’t seem like the team will be heavily affected because of this.
This Italy team seems in a state of change, we see the older players like Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Camoranesi, and Gattuso still hanging around, but we also see a younger generation begin to come through. Players like Montolivo, Criscito, Bonucci, Marchisio, and more are all beginning to step up to the challenge of playing for the current World Cup holders. While maybe this squad isn’t as powerful as teams like Brazil and Spain, there is an extremely promising set of youngsters beginning to make themselves present in Lippi’s plans.
If you are interested in all the 32 team’s 23 man squads, you can check them out here where all of the teams are listed in their groups with the called up squads. What are your thoughts on the team going to South Africa? Be sure to share them below by commenting!