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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marcello Lippi Releases Final 23 Man Roster for South Africa: The Dream Ends for Giuseppe Rossi

Italy national team head coach presser
"Paul Newman" is chasing history.
Only fellow Italian, Vittorio Pozzo, has ever
won two consecutive World Cups. Mr. Lippi
has the oldest team in South Africa and the
last team to repeat was Brasil in 1962.


Marcello Lippi
released his final 23 man roster for South Africa. The Azzurri have been training at altitude in Sestriere in the Italian Alps for the last two weeks. Mr. Lippi cut sentimental favorite, American Giuseppe Rossi, from the final team. A few weeks ago, he cut 2006 World Cup hero, Fabio Grosso, from the provisional roster.

Lippi on His Selections

"La duttilità è stato il criterio fondamentale, le scelte sono state tutte fatte in funzione dell'adattabilità a diverse posizioni in campo. Le esclusioni sono state tutte particolarmente difficili. Per Giuseppe Rossi vale forse un po' di più perché da più a lungo era con noi".
"Flexibility was the fundamental criterion. The choices were all made in conjunction with the adaptability of different positions on the pitch. The exclusions were all particularly very difficult. For Giuseppe Rossi, he deserved perhaps a little more because he had been with us longer."
Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, June 2, 2010.

Italy national team training session
Mr. Lippi was a centerback during his playing days
with Sampdoria. He was never capped for the Azzurri.

Five Final Cuts

Borriello (AC Milan)
Cassani (Palermo)
Cossu (Cagliari)
Rossi (Villarreal)
Sirigu (Palermo)

All five will take place in the two friendlies later this week.

Sports News - May 26, 2010
Giuseppe Rossi. The Clifton, New Jersey
native
aimed high with the Azzurri. Many
in American soccer circles did not understand
his motives and may now feel justified in their
criticism of his decision. But Rossi had been in the
Italian youth system since he left home at the age
of 13 to train with Parma.

Rossi strikes a nerve because this country has rarely
produced a player with his creative instincts
and technical abilities. He has 13 caps with 3 goals
for the Azzurri.

Azzurri Roster

Team Italy official photo call

Goalkeepers


Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Marchetti (Cagliari).

Defenders

Bocchetti (Genoa), Bonucci (Bari), Cannavaro (Al-Ahli), Chiellini (Juventus), Criscito (Genoa), Maggio (Napoli), Zambrotta (AC Milan).

Midfielders

Camoranesi (Juventus), De Rossi (AS Roma), Gattuso (AC Milan), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (ACF Fiorentina), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pepe (Udinese), Pirlo (AC Milan).

Strikers

Di Natale (Udinese), Gilardino (ACF Fiorentina), Iaquinta (Juventus), Pazzini (Sampdoria), Quagliarella (Napoli).

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, June 1, 2010.

Top Italian Sides Provided Few Players

Only four players from the top three Serie A sides of 2009/10 made the final roster: De Rossi from AS Roma and the AC Milan trio of Gattuso, Pirlo and Zambrotta. Seventh-place Juventus has five players (six if you include Cannavaro who played with them in 2009/10) on this roster.

Final Friendlies

The Azzurri have two friendlies this week against Mexico (3 June in Brussels) and Switzerland (5 June in Geneva). They will depart on 8 June for Johannesburg.
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