Italy national team coach Marcelo Lippi yesterday named his 30 man provisional world cup squad for the month long tournament scheduled to begin on June 11. With under performing players like Grosso and Gattuso making the squad, i highly doubt if the Azzurri can successfully defend their title amidst strong competition from Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast and the like.
To make matters worse, Lippi dropped Roma striker Luca Toni and did not include any Inter Milan players. Below is a complete list of his preferred 30 players.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan de Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari) and Salvatore Sirigu(Palermo)
Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardi Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio Grosso (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (Milan)
Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva (Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Genaro Gattuso (Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (Milan)
Marco Borriello (Milan), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vicenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal).
With a bulk of the selection coming from troubled Juventus (8 players to be exact), Lippi has to ensure that his stars perform or else face the wrath of the Azzurri fans.
Including Rossi at the expense of Toni might prove to be the biggest gamble Lippi could have taken however we will only know the ramifications of his decision once the games begins.
Photo credit: from lucidnost