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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Euro 2008: Italy Squad

Euro 2008 is now just few days away before the tournament kicks off. Euro 2008 will begin from 7 June and the tournament is jointly organized by Austria and Switzerland. Euro is perhaps the second most popular football tournament after FIFA World Cup. So, all of the 16 participating teams are now busy with their last minute preparations in the tournament. Here, I am going to write about the final 23-man Italy squad for Euro 2008 tournament.

Italy is the current world champion and is definitely one of the favorites of Euro 2008 competition. However, their performance was not that much impressive in the recent Euro tournaments. In fact, Italy’s performance in European Championship is not as impressive as it is in FIFA World Cup. However, still, Italy is one of the top most favorites of Euro 2008 given the fact that Italy is one of the football powers in the world and current world cup title holder. Italy won FIFA World Cup titles fourth times in the history of world cup football, while Italy only success till date in European stage came in Euro 1968. Even Italy’s performance in Euro 2004 was not satisfactory at all, as Italy failed to reach the quarter final in Portugal in the previous tournament. However, Italy was the beaten finalists in Euro 2000 tournament held jointly by Belgium and Netherlands.

Italy reached the Euro 2008 final competition finishing atop the point table of Group B in the qualifying round of Euro 2008, leaving France in the second place. However, they did not have a good start in the tournament as they made a 1-1 draw with Lithuania and losing to France 3-1 away at France. However, they could manage to win the top place in group B of qualifying round. Interestingly, Italy is also going to face France in the group stage of Euro 2008 as both the teams have been drawn in to Group C, which has already been termed as ‘group of death’ in the presence of France, whom they defeated in the final of 2006 FIFA World Cup, Netherlands and inform Romania. All the teams from this group are strong enough to get into the quarter final of Euro 2008.

Date

Competing Teams

Venue

9 June 2008

Monday

Italy vs Netherlands

Stade de Suisse, Wankdorf, Berne

13 June 2008

Friday

Italy vs Romania

Letzigrund Stadion, Zürich

17 June 2008

Tuesday

Italy vs France

Letzigrund Stadion, Zürich

No doubt, Italy is now gearing up for winning the second European title ahead of Euro 2008 competition. It is true that their current form is very impressive and Italy begins the tournament as a top favorite. Euro 2008 is going to be the first major tournament Italy is going to play under their new coach Roberto Donadoni, who succeeded Italy’s world cup winning Coach Marcello Lippi following Italy’s success in 2006 FIFA World Cup. Donadoni is a former player of Italy’s national football team who played for Italy in 63 matches. Donadoni is very young and played under the great coaches like Arrigo Sacchi. So, it is expected that his coaching philosophy would not make that much problem for the Italian footballers. Now, the expectation around world cup champion Italy has been skyrocketed among the football fans in the world.

The coach first declared a provisional 24-man squad for Euro 2008, which was trimmed down to 23-man squad because EUFA does not allow more than 23-man in a particular squad with three mandatory goal keepers in the squad. Now, let us have a look at the final line up of Euro 2008 competition. Here, I am stating the full list of 23-man squad of Italy for Euro 2008 from Guardian:

Goalkeeper

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Marco Amelia (Livorno), Morgan De Sanctis (Sevilla),

Defender

Fabio Grosso (Olympique Lyon), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Christian Panucci (AS Roma), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona),

Midfielder

Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Massimo Ambrosini (AC Milan), Simone Perrotta (AS Roma), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Alberto Aquilani (AS Roma), Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus),

Forward

Luca Toni (Bayern Munich), Marco Borriello (Genoa), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria, on loan from Real Madrid)

Gianluigi Buffon is one of the best goal keepers currently available in the football world. So, Buffon gives the reliability under the goal keeper. Italy has a formidable defense in the presence of Fabio Cannavaro and Marco Materazzi in center back position. Giorgio Chiellini, Christian Panucci and Gianluca Zambrotta are the options for Roberto Donadoni when it comes to defense. Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso are quite an old faces in the Italy midfield along with Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta. Riccardo Montolivo and Alberto Aquilani have the talent and are waiting to prove what they have in them. Luca Toni is, for sure, going to serve a lot for Italy. Camoranesi and Antonio Di Natale could play in two flanks. Alessandro Del Piero has the experience to provide momentum whenever it is needed.

It is true that Italy would miss Alessandro Nesta and Filippo Inzaghi as well as Totti in Euro 2008, but it is also true that the coach has formed a balanced side in the mixture of a good bunch of young talented footballers as well as a number of experienced players. Now, let us see if Italy can win their second Euro title this year in Austria and Switzerland.

Related articles:

euro2008

Goal.com

xinhuanet

Guardian

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