Italy face Ivory Coast later tonight, which is our new coach Prandelli’s first match in charge and this is how his squad looks like on paper.
Goalkeepers: Marchetti (Cagliari), Sirigu (Palermo), Viviano (Bologna)
Defenders: Antonini (Milan), Astori (Cagliari), Bonucci (Juventus), Cassani (Palermo), Chiellini (Juventus), Lucchini (Sampdoria), Molinaro (Stuttgart), Motta (Juventus)
Midfielders: De Rossi (Roma), Lazzari (Cagliari), Marchisio (Juventus), Montolivo (Fiorentina), Palombo (Sampdoria), Pepe (Juventus)
Attackers: Amauri (Juventus), Balotelli (Inter), Borriello (Milan), Cassano (Sampdoria), Quagliarella (Napoli), Rossi (Villarreal)
Is it just me or is everyone drooling at the sight of seeing Balotelli and Cassano on pitch at the same time (about time fellas..)?
And boy, are there some new faces in there!
Lippi’s era is over and this squad has just one player more than 30 years of age.
Amongst the defenders, Antonini from Milan (finally) gets a much deserved call up to the team and so does Juve’s highly promising Marco Motta. Expect Chiellini to be our defensive leader from now onwards.
In the midfield department, Cagliari’s Lazzari gets a call up too and the likes of Marchisio and Montolivio, what with a World Cup behind them, surely have a major role to play on the road to EURO 2012. Pepe gets a call up after a somewhat mixed World Cup and Sampdoria’s Palombo has been impressive in the recent past to warrant a place in the squad. And of course, De Rossi (captain?) was always going to be there.
And up front is where all the glamour is. Man, is that a fantastic attacking line-up or what? Super Mario and Peter Pan Cassano have respectively been given the No.9 and No.10 jersey (don’t you ask me why). Milan’s Borriello, Juve’s Amauri, WC super sub Quagliarella and Villareal’s Rossi complete the offensive unit. Prandelli’s attackers alone offer more excitement than the entire team that Lippi took to the World Cup.
Come what may tonight against Ivory Coast, this is the beginning of something special. Prandelli has clear objectives in mind and is driven by a seemingly goal oriented approach. What Lippi did in 2006 was out of this world, but he went out of his way to screw up his legacy by probably taking the worst Italy team in years to the WC. Let’s hope Prandelli calls up players who deserve a place in the team and that he stays free of any sorta bias and prejudice. Most of the players from the 2010 WC squad have been axed and it’s really impossible to make any case whatsoever for the inclusion of Zambrotta, Camoranesi et all.
The result against Ivory Coast tonight will matter little, because gentleman, the Italy football team just got a sex-ed up big time (and I did try my best not to sound homosexual there).
If anything, we’ll at least get to see some fancy step-overs, a flick or two, a Mohawk..And of course Italian football players actually running for a change!
It’s showtime. Forza Azurri!