Image of Marcello Lippi courtesy of Paul Blank
For the upcoming World Cup qualification games (Saturday, 11 October at Sofia, Bulgaria and Wednesday, 15 October in Lecce versus Montenegro), Marcello Lippi has just released his roster. The Azzurri are top of the Group 8 table with six points, followed by the Republic of Ireland, who are managed by Giovanni Trapattoni, with four points, respectively. Only the winner of the ten groups will advance directly to South Africa. Eight of the best second place teams will enter a direct elimination play out to determine the rest of the UEFA contingent at World Cup 2010.
There were a few surprises.
He did not select Alex Del Piero nor Antonio Cassano; however, four younger players will be in their first senior level Azzurri camp.
Four New Azzurri Receive Call-UpsPortieri (Goalkeepers)
Giuseppi Rossi of Villarreal.
Christian Maggio of Napoli.
Simone Pepe of Udinese.
Fabiano SantaCroce of Napoli.
Buffon (Juventus) [ruled out due to injury and replaced by Gianluca Curci of Siena], Amelia (Palermo), De Sanctis (Galatasaray).
Bonera (Milan), Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Chiellini (Juventus), Dossena (Liverpool), Gamberini (Fiorentina), Santacroce (Napoli), Zambrotta (Milan).
Aquilani (Roma), Camoranesi (Juventus) [ruled out due to injury], De Rossi (Roma), Gattuso (Milan), Maggio (Napoli), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Nocerino (Palermo), Perrotta (Roma).
Di Natale (Udinese), Gilardino (Fiorentina), Pepe (Udinese), Rossi G. (Villarreal), Toni (Bayern Monaco).
Roster courtesy of La Gazzetta dello Sport, 05 October 2008.