Tuesday, 3 June 2008

[Euro 2008] Gamberini joins Azzurri

Fiorentina defender Alessandro Gamberini trained with Italy only hours after joining up with the Euro 2008 squad in Austria.

Gamberini has replaced Fabio Cannavaro, who was ruled out of the tournament on Monday after tearing ankle ligaments in the Azzurri's first training session on Austrian soil.

The injury on Monday was viewed by 6,000 locals who packed out the stands at their training base of Baden, but on Tuesday the world champions had a more low-key session.

The players refrained from any tough challenges on the wet surface and the session was closed to the public.

Coach Roberto Donadoni is busy exploring his defensive options following the loss of the Cannavaro as he returned to the drawing board and came up with two possible defensive templates.

During today's training session he tried out a new three-man rearguard formed by Christian Panucci, Giorgio Chiellini – whose challenge inadvertently contributed to ending Cannavaro's tournament before it had begun – and Gamberini.

Then came a back four comprising Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Barzagli, Marco Materazzi and Fabio Grossi, with some observers tipping the second system to be trusted against the Netherlands in their opening game on 9 June.

"This team has its own identity and we are not going to change it because we have lost one player, albeit an important one," Donadoni said at a press conference.

"I have complete faith in the players here. Both Barzagli and Materazzi have done well in recent years.

"I am confident in the options I have and whoever replaces Fabio will know exactly what they are doing. We have experienced players who are ready to step up."

Source: Reuters

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