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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

History Is Made Tonight in Basel: Fabio Cannavaro Sets the All-Time Appearances Record for the Azzurri

Spain v Italy - International Friendly

Tonight at St. Jakob Park at 2045 in Basel marks the 127th appearance for Fabio Cannavaro of the Azzurri. For many years, Paolo Maldini held the record at 126 games. But records were made to be broken by another in a long line of great Azzurri captains.

Naples Born and Bred

Fabio hails from Napoli, and grew up near the Stadio San Paolo. He was a ball boy for Napoli, and later launched his career with the Neapolitan club. His first international appearance at the senior level was in January 1997 against Northern Ireland. His stellar career has included competing in three World Cups, along with three European Cups. In 2006, he was named FIFA Player of the Year, and won the Ballon d'Or by France Football. He has been Captain of the Azzurri since 2002.

Robinho Brazil 2008/09

Probable Azzurri Starting XI: 4-4-2 (First starts at the senior level.)

Buffon (Juventus)

Zambrotta (AC Milan), Chiellini (Juventus), Cannavaro (Capt. Juventus), Criscito (Genoa)

Camoranesi (Juventus), Pirlo (AC Milan), Palombo (Sampdoria), Marchisio (Juventus)

Rossi (Villarreal), Gilardino (Fiorentina)

Gigi Buffon: The Confederations Cups Was A Delusion

“La Confederations è stata una delusione, ci ha creato dubbi e dato risposte negative. Ora serve tutto il contrario: dobbiamo ritrovare certezze, vittorie e una squadra che faccia bella figura. Siamo motivati, vogliamo festeggiare nel modo migliore il record di presenze di Cannavaro.”

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 12 August 2009.
"The Confederations Cup was a delusion, it created doubts and gave negative responses. Now everything is changed: we have to rediscover certainties, wins and a team that plays attractive football.

We are motivated, and we want to celebrate in the best way the record of caps by Cannavaro."

Tonight, Gigi made his 96th appearance for the Azzurri.
Switzerland Starting XI: 4-4-2


Dengen, Senderos, Grichting, Magnin

Padalino, Fernandes, Ilner, Barnetta

Frei (Captain), N'Kufo

Referee: Herr Kirchner of Germany.

The Swiss were in better form; however, the Azzurri wasted a few early chances. The pace of the friendly was surprisingly brisk. Criscito and Marchisio played very well in their Azzurri debuts. Barnetta of Switzerland struck the crossbar with Buffon beaten in the first half. Camoranesi suffered an injury and had to be subbed out.

In the second half, Mister Lippi brought in many subs, and the rhythm of the match declined. There were not many goal-scoring opportunities as both teams seemed content with the scoreless draw.

Fabio Cannavaro, in his 70th match as Azzurri captain, set the all-time appearances record of 127. Complimenti, Capitan Cannavaro.

The next match for the Azzurri will be 5 September against Georgia.

Mister Lippi After the Game

"La Confederations Cup è stata un mese in tre anni in cui non abbiamo fatto bene. Oggi siamo ripartiti con un altro spirito ed un altro entusiasmo. Qui ci sono ragazzi interessanti che hanno già fatto bene e giocheranno ancora, è un nuovo inizio positivo. Abbiamo creato tante occasioni a inizio gara, poi nel finale abbiamo rischiato la beffa".

Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 12 August 2009.
"The Confederations Cup was one month in the last three years in which we didn't do well. Today we started over with a different spirit and a better enthusiasm.

Here there are interesting players that have done well and will do so again, it is a positive new beginning.

We created a lot of chances at the beginning of the match, but in the end we risked being caught out."
Key Stats

Score: 0 x 0
Shots on Goal: 10 x 10
On Target: 3 x 4
Possession: 45% x 55%
Cards: 0 x 0

The Azzurri fail to score a goal for the third consecutive game. That had never happened in either of Mr. Lippi's two tenures.

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