Azzurri: No Room for Pippo or AleBy: Martha | November 12th, 2007
[If you're looking for the latest on the tragic events in Italy yesterday and their repercussions, go here. Serie B and C matches are suspended this weekend; as of right now, Serie A will resume on schedule, on November 25.]
As has become standard practice since people started questioning Roberto Donadoni, his team for the last two Euro 2008 qualifiers was revealed quietly on Sunday night after most of the media has gone to bed (and was immediately buried in the press by the events of the day). That said, though, the team isn’t exactly controversial — perhaps the Don is just instinctively cautious now, twitching and ducking at the slightest hint of public disagreement.
The team is mostly standard, featuring returnees Gianlucca Zambrotta (finally healthy), Fabio Cannavaro (back from suspension) and the suddenly goal-happy Alberto Gilardino, who is preferred over Milan teammate Pippo Inzaghi in Donadoni’s strike force. Alongside Gila are the usual suspects: Toni, Iaquinta, Lucarelli (who, apparently, has recovered from the injury he picked up against Milan) and Udine teammates Antonio Di Natale and Fabio Quagliarella, who both added to their Serie A goal totals yesterday. Mixed in with the old boys is the squad’s lone debutant: Juve’s Raffaele Palladino who will probably play out wide if he features, sitting off the main striker in the position Ale Del Piero refuses to play for the Azzurri.
The midfield and backline, meanwhile, are pretty much par for the course. The usual Milan-filled midfield is in place, augmented by Roman tandem Daniele Di Rossi and Simone Perrotta, as well as Mauro Camoranesi, who shook off a recent knock to play all 90 minutes for Juve yesterday. At the back it’s all the same folks (with the exception of the nearly fit Marco Materazzi), including Giorgio Chiellini, Milan teammates Massimo Oddo and Daniele Bonera, and Palermo captain Andrea Barzagli.
The team convened today, giving them an unusually long build-up for Saturday’s crucial match in Scotland (and Wednesday home meeting with the Faroe Islands); hopefully they won’t have disappeared entirely into their own navels by the end of the week.
The full squad list is after the jump.
Goalkeepers: Amelia (Livorno), Buffon (Juventus), Curci (Roma);
Defenders: Barzagli (Palermo), Bonera (Milan), Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Chiellini (Juventus), Grosso (Lyon), Oddo (Milan), Panucci (Roma), Zambrotta (Barcelona);
Midfielders: Ambrosini (Milan), Camoranesi (Juventus), De Rossi (Roma), Gattuso (Milan), Perrotta (Roma), Pirlo (Milan);
Forwards: Di Natale (Udinese), Gilardino (Milan), Iaquinta (Juventus), Lucarelli (Shakhtar Donetsk), Palladino (Juventus), Quagliarella (Udinese), Toni (Bayern Munich)