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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mister Lippi Releases His Roster for the Swiss Friendly: "Whomever is playing abroad has a better chance to be selected for the Azzurri."

Marcello Lippi Manager Italy 2008/09

Marcello Lippi released his roster for the 12 August 2009 friendly against Switzerland at St. Jakob Park in Basel (Basilea.) He added a few new faces (highlighted), along with his usual group of "Senators." He is a very consistent manager who rewards loyalty, and stresses the team dynamic over the individual.

Once again, Antonio Cassano of Sampdoria and Alessandro Del Piero of Juventus were not selected. It is safe to assume that as long as Mr. Lippi is manager, neither will feature in the Azzurri set-up. Cassano has played and behaved impeccably over the last year, and vowed to do anything, even play in goal, to wear the Azzurri shirt once again. For a player of his immense talent, 15 caps at the age of 27 seems hard to fathom.

Luca Toni, the out of form Bayern Munich striker, was also excluded. Daniele De Rossi of AS Roma and Rino Gattuso of AC Milan were rested.

The Door is Closed For Francesco Totti

With regards to the Giallorossi capitan and uomo simbolo who had recently indicated that he would return to the Azzurri fold if called, Mister Lippi was concise and left no room for misinterpretation:

«Totti ha preso la decisione di lasciare la Nazionale e io non ho intenzione di tornare indietro su questa decisione».

Italian Source: Corriere della Sera, 11 August 2009.
"Totti decided to leave the National team (after World Cup 2006), and I don't have the intention to go backwards on this decision."
On a positive note, Antonio Di Natale of Udinese returns after a serious knee injury.

The Swiss are the eternal rival of the Azzurri. They have played more games against them than any other side.

Here is the roster:

Portieri (Goalkeepers)

Buffon (Juventus), Marchetti (Cagliari)

Difensori (Defenders)

Bocchetti (Genoa), Cannavaro (Juventus), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Genoa), Grosso (Olympique Lione), Santon (Inter), Zambrotta (Milan).

Centrocampisti (Midfielders)

Camoranesi (Juventus), D'Agostino (Udinese), Marchisio (Juventus), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pepe (Udinese), Pirlo (Milan).

Attaccanti (Strikers)

Di Natale (Udinese), Gilardino (Fiorentina), Iaquinta (Juventus), Quagliarella (Napoli), Rossi (Villarreal).

Mister Lippi Comments on His Strategies

"Sono convinto che se abbiamo una possibilità su un miliardo di rivincere il Mondiale, può realizzarsi soltanto non abbandonando i senatori, ma inserendo alcune novità in una squadra che non abbandoni i giocatori d'esperienza".
"I am convinced that if we have one chance in a thousand to win the World Cup again, it can be realized only if the 'Senators' are not abandoned, but by inserting a few new ones in a team that doesn't jettison experienced players."
"Se qualcuno non ritorna nelle condizioni necessarie, non fará parte di questo gruppo. Ma la stragrande maggioranza ci sará. Non ho gli occhi foderati di prosciutto: sto attuando il rinnovamento, tenendo presenti gli straordinari calciatori che hanno vinto il Mondiale in Germania. Lo faccio per convinzione, non per riconoscenza. Il rinnovamento totale si può anche fare, ma è un peccato rinunciare a elementi di grande esperienza internazionale".
"If someone doesn't return in the necessary physical condition, he won't be a part of this group. But the majority will be here. I don't have on blinders. I am putting together a renewal, keeping the extraordinary players that won the Cup in Germany. I do so by conviction, not because I know them. A complete renovation could be done, but it is a pity to renounce elements of great international experience."
"Chi gioca all'estero ha più chance di essere convocato in Nazionale. Perchè fa un'esperienza internazionale maggiore. Tra l'altro prendere un aereo per andare a vedere, ad esempio, Pirlo che gioca a Roma è lo stesso che prendere un aereo per andare a Londra o altrove". Quest'estate ha parlato sia con Pirlo, sia con Aquilani. "Parlo molto spesso con i miei giocatori, l'ho fatto sia con Pirlo che con Aquilani: gli ho detto quello che penso, compresa la Nazionale".
"Whomever is playing abroad has a better chance to be selected for the Azzurri. Because they have a better international experience. To take a plane to see them, for example, Pirlo playing in Rome is the same as taking a flight to London or elsewhere...

I speak often with my players, and I spoke with both Pirlo and Acquilani: I told them what I thought, including the National team."

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 5 August 2009.

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