MILAN - Francesco Totti was left out of
Italy's provisional World Cup squad on Tuesday after coach
Marcello Lippi decided against bringing the World Cup winner out
of international retirement.
AS Roma captain Totti, who quit the national side after
their 2006 World Cup triumph, had considered making himself
available for the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa but
the inconsistent Azzurri will have to do without his creativity.
Lippi has not disclosed if Totti had offered to play.
The inclusion of Villarreal forward Giuseppe Rossi at the
expense of Juventus centre back Nicola Legrottaglie provided the
only other surprise in the 30-man squad, which will be cut to 23
with four standby players next Tuesday.
Legrottaglie has not been a regular for a struggling Juve
this season but his omission means Italy lack experienced cover
for centre backs Fabio Cannavaro and Giorgio Chiellini.
Defenders Salvatore Bocchetti, Leonardo Bonucci and Mattia
Cassani have just six caps between them.
"Obviously, against some teams it will be necessary to make
selections with great care, especially in defence. At the
moment, I think it's the area that there are most doubts about,"
former Italy midfielder Stefano Fiore told Reuters.
"But if you don't give players the chance to mature, even
with some negative performances, they will never come through.
Italy should have started this process of making the team
younger a little earlier."
Lippi, who has hinted he will quit after the World Cup,
named keeper Federico Marchetti despite a leg injury but Luca
Toni was omitted as expected having been ignored for months.
The striker flopped at Euro 2008, was dropped by Bayern
Munich and has suffered injury problems in an otherwise decent
loan spell at Roma.
Few Italy fans expect their team to defend their title
despite their opponents in Group F being Paraguay, New Zealand
Although Italy qualified unbeaten, a series of lacklustre
displays and an ageing team have sapped optimism and many
believe Lippi is relying too heavily on his 2006 heroes.
"Even though Italy are defending champions, we certainly
aren't favourites, above all because of what was seen during the
qualifying campaign," said Fiore, a Euro 2000 finalist.
"There are teams who, on paper and on the field, look better
than Italy. That said, football is full of surprises and at the
last World Cup Italy certainly weren't favourites."
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis
(Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari), Salvatore Sirigu
Defenders: Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci
(Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Mattia Cassani (Palermo),
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Fabio
Grosso (Juventus), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta
Midfielders: Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Antonio Candreva
(Juventus), Andrea Cossu (Cagliari), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma),
Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus),
Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria),
Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)
Forwards: Marco Borriello (AC Milan), Antonio Di Natale
(Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta
(Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella
(Napoli), Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal)
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010