Tuesday, 1 June 2010

[WC2010] Italy omit Borriello and Rossi

AC Milan striker Marco Borriello and Villarreal forward Giuseppe Rossi were omitted from Italy's 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup with coach Marcello Lippi surprising pundits by choosing Fabio Quagliarella.

Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, defender Mattia Cassani and midfielder Andrea Cossu were the other players from a provisional 28-man squad to miss out on the trip to South Africa for the June 11-July 11 finals.

Winger Mauro Camoranesi, part of the team that triumphed in the 2006 tournament, was included in the final squad list despite pulling out of altitude training in the Alps earlier today with a knee injury.

He can be replaced before the start of the tournament if the injury, which has initially been assessed as not serious, becomes worse.

Lippi did not offer any immediate explanation for his choices, although he is due to meet with reporters on Wednesday.

The world champions, who face Mexico in Brussels and Switzerland in Geneva in their final friendlies on Thursday and Saturday, meet Paraguay in their Group F opener in Cape Town on June 14 before facing New Zealand and Slovakia.

The Azzurri have been training in Sestriere at 2,035 meters (6,670 feet) since May 23 and will depart for South Africa on June 8.

World Cup winner Lippi, who will quit after the finals and be replaced by Fiorentina's Cesare Prandelli, waited until the final hours of deadline day to name his squad having earlier planned to announce his 23 in mid-May.

Injury-prone Borriello has had a successful season at Milan, complete with some spectacular goals, while Rossi can play in any position across the front line. However, Lippi has opted for the pace and power of Quagliarella despite his relatively modest goal return of 11 in Serie A for Napoli last term.

Giampaolo Pazzini was also included in the list of strikers alongside established names Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Iaquinta and Antonio Di Natale.

Lippi had been criticised in the Italian media for relying too heavily on his 2006 heroes during a lacklustre qualification campaign. In the end, he has selected nine members from the squad four years ago: Gianluigi Buffon, captain Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Camoranesi, Daniele De Rossi, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Gilardino and Iaquinta.

But a handful of young players such as Salvatore Bocchetti, Leonardo Bonucci, Domenico Criscito, Federico Marchetti, Claudio Marchisio and Pazzini have made the cut.

Fabio Grosso, the left-back who converted the decisive penalty kick in the final against France four years ago, had already, along with Antonio Candreva, been cut two weeks ago after being named to a preliminary 30-man squad.

Lippi never even considered picking Antonio Cassano, the talented but temperamental Sampdoria forward, Mario Balotelli, the controversial 18-year-old Inter striker, or veteran forwards Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero.

Italy squad
Goalkeepers: 1. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), 14. Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), 12. Federico Marchetti (Cagliari).
Defenders: 13. Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), 23. Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), 5. Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), 4. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), 3. Domenico Criscito (Genoa), 2. Christian Maggio (Napoli), 19. Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan).
Midfielders: 16. Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), 6. Daniele De Rossi (Roma), 8. Gennaro Gattuso (Milan), 15. Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), 22. Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), 17. Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), 7. Simone Pepe (Udinese), 21. Andrea Pirlo (Milan).
Forwards: 10. Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), 11. Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), 9. Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), 20. Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), 18. Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli).

Source: FIGC

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