Saturday, 13 June 2009

[Azzurri] Cannavaro to miss opener

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro will miss his country's opening match at the FIFA Confederations Cup because of injury.

Fabio Cannavaro & Marcello LippiCannavaro has a calf strain that stopped him from training with the rest of squad this week or playing in the warm up matches ahead of the start of the eight-team tournament.

Italy meet the United States of America in their opening Group B match in Pretoria on Monday night and play Egypt and Brazil in their other group games.

The 35-year-old World Cup winning captain, who is returning to Juventus after a spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid, missed the 4-3 win over New Zealand in Pretoria on Wednesday and a 6-0 win in a training match against a local team on Friday.

Cannavaro is two matches away from matching Paolo Maldini's record of 126 caps for Azzurri.

Manwhile, American-born striker Guiseppe Rossi hopes to get a chance to play against the United States in Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium.

"It is the country where I was born, where my parents and a lot of my friends live," the Villarreal striker said.

Rossi has been described by coach Marcello Lippi as a future stand-out for Italy but is not expected to make the starting line-up.

The 22-year-old scored his first goal for the Azzurri last weekend in a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland in Pisa and was in the starting line-up against New Zealand.

Rossi, born in New Jersey to Italian immigrants, was 12 when he went to Parma to pursue his footballing dreams.

He signed for Manchester United at the age of 17 before going to Newcastle United and Parma on loan. Two years ago, he was sold to Villarreal in Spain.

The Americans invited him to a training camp ahead of the 2006 World Cup finals but Rossi chose to pursue the potential of an international career with Italy.

He won his first of five caps last October as a substitute against Bulgaria.

[FIFA Confederations Cup 2009]

Source: Reuters

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