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Prandelli’s Italy to face Ivory Coast

Prandelli is the future: a coach with an attacking style and a mindset which understands the need of youth in a team. Now, with Prandelli’s first match as Italy coach coming up August 10th, against the Ivory Coast, the ex-Fiorentina coach has called up a provisional squad of 30 players. In the squad there are 13 players who played in the World Cup with Lippi, and there’s certainly a younger group compared to the team which went to South Africa.

Here’s the provisional squad for the friendly against the Ivory Coast which will take place August 10th at West Ham’s stadium, Upton Park:


Salvatore Sirigu
Emiliano Viviano
Marco Storari
Antonio Mirante


Leonardo Bonucci
Giorgio Chiellini
Luca Antonini
Cristian Zaccardo
Mattia Cassani
Alessandro Gamberini
Salvatore Bocchetti
Christian Maggio


Riccardo Montolivo
Andrea Pirlo
Daniele De Rossi
Claudio Marchisio
Simone Pepe
Cristian Ledesma
Thiago Motta
Daniele Galloppa
Angelo Palombo


Alberto Gilardino
Marco Borriello
Giampaolo Pazzini
Antonio Cassano
Mario Balotelli
Marco Marchionni
Giuseppe Rossi
Fabio Quagliarella
Raffaele Palladino

Yes, Cassano and Balotelli have finally been included, and hopefully Prandelli will give the two forwards some significant playing time in the Azzurri jersey. And the two other names which are unexpected are Inter Milan’s Thiago Motta (Italian/Brazilian) and Lazio’s Cristian Ledesma (Italian/Argentinean), who haven’t been internationally capped at senior level yet. Naturalizing these two players and inserting Cassano and Balotelli into the Italian team is a step forward which puts younger players into the cycle.

As for how Prandelli’s Italy will play, the coach revealed to La Gazzetta Dello Sport that he will be basing the team on a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-2-1. Prandelli wants to always use width and to play with enthusiasm, courage, and equilibrium. Prandelli believes that Cassano and Balotelli can play together, mainly in a 4-2-3-1 with Cassano behind the center forward and Balotelli on the left. And this attacking combination will certainly be more dangerous than Italy’s offensive system in South Africa.

As for the future Azzurri captain, Prandelli says that it will be Buffon, and when he’s unable to play then it will be either Pirlo (if he’s there) or De Rossi. Prandelli also said (regarding Balotelli’s possible move to Manchester City) that he will only call players who are playing for their clubs, it doesn’t matter where, and so he would rather have Balotelli play in City’s starting 11 than sit on Inter’s bench.

So with Prandelli’s Italy playing he Ivory Coast soon, we should see plenty of new faces, from Argentina, Brazil, and Ghana. What do you think about Prandelli’s new Italy? Share your thoughts below by commenting!

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Click to comment


  1. Luciano

    August 4, 2010 at 3:23 am

    So excited to see Balotelli score some goals

  2. Rami S.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Niccolo,

    Do you know much about GK Vincenzo Fiorillo? He’s 20 and owned by Sampdoria but has been loaned to Serie B side Reggina before.

    Ever seen him play?

    • Niccolo

      August 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      Sorry about the late response Rami,

      I don’t know much about Fiorillo, sadly I haven’t seen much of him. I know that last summer La Gazzetta Dello Sport was comparing him to Buffon, hoping that he would one day be the Azzurri number 1. I’ve seen him play a couple of times, he seemed good at organizing his defense, and he had little trouble stopping shots, but I didn’t see him severely tested.

      I know that he was supposed to “explode” last season with Reggina in Serie A, but he didn’t realize his potential, maybe he’ll have less trouble this season in Serie B.

      That’s all I know.

      • Rami S.

        August 6, 2010 at 1:05 am

        Hi Niccolo,

        Thanks for feedback. I appreciate it. What’s your take on Davide Santon as a potential full-back for Azzurri?

        I’ve seen him play and I know he missed time through injury, but do you think he’s worth a shot to start on the flanks?

        Italy can count on Criscito, Maggio, Bonucci and Bocchetti who can play as full-backs. I think Santon has advantage of being able to play as a right-back or left-back.

        • Niccolo Conte

          August 6, 2010 at 4:30 am

          I think Santon is Italy’s future fullback, I have no doubt about that. I remember seeing some matches where he would snake up the wing continuously, providing a constant attacking option and a solid defender.

          While his last season at Inter wasn’t one to remember, I think with the possible absence of Maicon (Real Madrid should buy him soon), Inter could decide that a new full-back doesn’t need to be bought, and they could alternate Zanetti and Santon.

          For me he is certainly a player that the Azzurri need to keep in a tight grasp, and make sure that he develops well, without injuries, and maybe a new Italian legend could be born (cough, facchetti, cough)

          What do you think?

          • Rami S.

            August 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm


            I agree with you. I remember when he started playing for Inter and he was quite young and Mourinho is known for preferring not to play younger players so that shows how good Santon is.

            Santon also showed lots of confidence for his age playing alongside star players and for a big club. I think if he is injury-free and can play at least 30 Serie A games this season then he should be a fixture in the Azzurri lineup.

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