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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Italia 1 x Sweden 0: Friendly from Cesena: "There are 16 to 17 players that are guaranteed a place at the World Cup."

Azzurri captain, Fabio Cannavaro.
"There is a reason we have four stars on our shirt, and
Spain has none."

Image courtesy of Paul Blank and

This will be the last friendly in a long year for the Azzurri. It began with a luxury friendly against Brasil in London, was followed by World Cup qualification matches, and endured a miserable summer spell at the 2009 Confederations Cup. But the great maestro, Marcello Lippi, seems to have the Azzurri sails flying in the proper direction.

Lippi's Historic Record: Only 3 Competitive Losses in 48 matches

WORLD CUP 2010 QUALIFIER - Ireland Draw Italy 1-1
His record this year has been 9 wins, 3 draws, and 3 losses.

Overall, Mr. Lippi's record during his second stint on the Azzurri bench is 11 wins, 7 draws, and 3 losses with a 55% winning rate.

During his first tenure between 2004 and 2006, his record was 18 wins, 9 draws, and 2 losses with a 62% winning rate.

Historic Record: 29 wins, 16 draws, and 5 losses with a 58% winning rate.

He has only lost 3 competitive games and 5 overall:
  • In 2004 during World Cup qualification against Slovenia: 1 x 0.
  • In 2009 during the Confederations Cup against Brasil 3 x 0 and Egypt 1 x 0.
  • The only other matches that he lost was his first friendly on the bench in August 2004 against Iceland: 2 x 0, and a London friendly against Brazil in February 2009: 0 x 3.
Comments Ahead of the Game by Mister Lippi

"Ci saranno tanti cambi. Del resto se devo fare delle verifiche il momento è questo. Buffon, Cannavaro, Zambrotta e Pirlo giocano così tante partite che se posso farli rifiatare lo faccio. Ci sono 16-17 giocatori già sicuri del posto per il Mondiale, il resto va scelto e calibrato anche in base ai ruoli, per avere una rosa omogenea. Candreva per esempio può giocare alla Perrotta. Da mezzala ora avrei solo Marchisio".
"There will be a lot of changes. For the rest, if I have to make evaluations, the time is now. Buffon, Cannavaro, Zambrotta and Pirlo play so many games that if I can rest them, I will do it. There are 16 to 17 players that are guaranteed a place at the World Cup. The rest will be selected and calibrated also in terms of the needed roles to have a homogenous roster. Candreva, for example, can play like Simone Perrotta did. At the inside left or right (he used the old term and not wide or holding midfielder) up to now I have only had Claudio Marchisio."
"Il Brasile favorito per i Mondiali? Da sempre. Adesso sono favorite Brasile e Spagna. Ma sarà importante avere le cose giuste nel mese che conta".
"Is Brasil a favorite for the World Cup? Always. Now the favorites are Brasil and Spain. But it will be important to have the right things in the month that counts."
"Rossi ieri l’ho rivisto bene dopo un periodo difficile, anche per le difficoltà incontrate dal Villarreal. Santon purtroppo sta giocando molto poco. Mi auguro che giochi un pochino di più, compatibilmente con le esigenze dell’Inter".
"Yesterday I saw Giuseppe Rossi again doing well after a difficult spell, also due to the difficulties encountered at Villarreal. Unfortunately, Davide Santon is playing very little. I wish that he played a little more, but in line with the needs of Inter Milan."
Italian source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 15 November 2009.

Follow the Game Online
  • If you would like to discuss the game with other Azzurri fans, please visit Anna Italia at her site: http://italiansoccerseriea.com. She provides a live matchcast in English.
Azzurri Starting XI: 4-3-3


Maggio, Legrottaglie, Chiellini, Crescito

Montolivo, Biondini, Candreva

Marchionni, Pazzini, Di Natale

Manager: Mr. Lippi

Sweden Starting XI: 4-4-2


Lustig, Mellburg, Majstorovic, Dorsin

V. Elm, Svensson, Larsson, Elmander

Safari, Hysen

Manager: Mr. Hamren

Abbreviated Match Report

Mr. Lippi, as promised, made many changes and fielded an experimental lineup. Most of whom have never played together at this level. The "Senators," Buffon, Cannavaro, and Zambrotta watched the match from their living rooms. ;-)

In what was not more than a training match for both sides, Giorgio Chiellini headed in the winner from a corner kick in 28th minute. The Azzurri showed much enthusiasm; however, their performance was difficult to gauge since this group will not feature again at the national team level.

The Azzurri end the year on a positive note.

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