Thursday, 28 May 2009

[Azzurri] Lippi turns to eight new faces

Italy coach Marcello Lippi called up eight uncapped players, including Inter's teenage fullback Davide Santon, in his 20-man squad to face Northern Ireland in a friendly in Pisa on June 6.

Davide SantonThe World champions also confirmed 13 established players who will be in the 23-man squad for the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. The rest of the squad will be decided by June 4.

None of those 13 players, including captain and new Juventus signing Fabio Cannavaro, will feature in the Northern Ireland friendly at Pisa's Stadio Garibaldi next week.

As well as 18-year-old Santon, the other new faces are in-form Cagliari goalkeeper Federico Marchetti, Lecce's Andrea Esposito, Palermo defender Mattia Cassani, Catania's Marco Biagianti and Giuseppe Mascara, Siena's Daniele Galloppa and Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier.

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has also been included as he bids to prove his fitness for the Confederations Cup having only just returned from knee surgery.

Lippi, whose side sit top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group Eight, wants to experiment against Northern Ireland after some average performances in recent matches.

Despite the radical changes, there are again no places for Sampdoria playmaker Antonio Cassano, Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero and Milan forward Filippo Inzaghi.

All the players will gather on June 2 at the FIGC's Technical Centre in Coverciano for preparation and training.

The final 23-man squad will leave for South Africa on June 7 and will have one further friendly test against New Zealand on June 10 in Pretoria.

The Azzurri are in Confederations Cup Group B, where they will face the United States of America in Pretoria on June 15, Egypt in Johannesburg on June 18 and Brazil back in Pretoria on June 21.

The eight-team intercontinental tournament will take place from June 14 to 28 and will serve as a on and off-field dress rehearsal for South Africa who are preparing to host the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time 12 months later.

Italy squad for Northern Ireland friendly:
Goalkeepers: Morgan De Sanctis (Galatasaray), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari).
Defenders: Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Andrea Dossena (Liverpool), Alessandro Gamberini (Fiorentina), Fabio Grosso (Lyon), Andrea Esposito (Lecce), Nicola Legrottaglie (Juventus), Davide Santon (Inter).
Midfielders: Marco Biagianti (Catania), Matteo Brighi (Roma), Gaetano D'Agostino (Udinese), Daniele Galloppa (Siena), Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria).
Forwards: Pasquale Foggia (Lazio), Giuseppe Mascara (Catania), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Sergio Pellissier (Chievo), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).

Players confirmed for Confederations Cup:
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Marco Amelia (Palermo).
Defenders: Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan).
Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan).
Forwards: Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese), Luca Toni (Bayern Munich).

[Italy 2009 Calendar] - [FIFA Confederations Cup 2009]

Source: Reuters

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