MILAN, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Federico Marchetti was Italy's
World Cup goalkeeper in June but four months later he will not
even be on the bench when club side Cagliari host Serie A
champions Inter Milan on Sunday.
A stand-in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon in South
Africa, Marchetti did not cover himself in glory as the then
holders crashed out in the group stage.
In truth, he was not at great fault for the goals he
conceded but they contributed to his dream move to Sampdoria
falling through and thus Cagliari dropping him from the first
team squad because of his disloyalty in courting a transfer.
At first fans assumed he was injured but it has now become
clear he will sit on the sidelines until the January window.
Italy sources at Tuesday's abandoned Euro 2012 qualifier
against Serbia, where new keeper Emiliano Viviano was almost
hit by a flare, said Marchetti was being kept out at Cagliari
for "tactical reasons" and so could not be considered for
The saga is one of several to dog the modest Sardinian
club, 13th in Serie A after six games.
Daniele Conti and Alessandro Agostini were left out of the
0-0 draw at Chievo last time out after media reports of a
bust-up with coach Pierpaolo Bisoli, who took over in the wake
of Massimiliano Allegri's departure for AC Milan.
Media are already questioning Bisoli's future in the job.
Cagliari, who recently unveiled ambitious plans to build a
new stadium by the end of 2011 to replace their dilapidated
Sant'Elia, will at least be buoyed by treble winners Inter
failing to score in their last two league outings.
Inter coach Rafael Benitez said his side still played well
in a 1-0 defeat by AS Roma and 0-0 draw with Juventus but
blamed injuries to his surprisingly thin squad for the lack of
Diego Milito and Esteban Cambiasso are out after suffering
thigh problems while with Argentina but Inter captain Javier
Zanetti hopes to be back to full fitness after three weeks out.
The Cagliari match is the first high-profile Serie A game
to kick off in the new and widely unpopular 1030 GMT Sunday
Second-placed Inter are two points behind surprise leaders
Lazio, who have had the international break to sit back and
admire their early achievements.
The Romans, relegation candidates last term, visit Bari in
Sunday's late game knowing what their rivals have done.
Fourth-placed Milan, with injuries clearing up but with
Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitting he is not 100 percent, again start
the weekend action with a home game against Chievo on Saturday
while improving Juventus host Lecce on Sunday.
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