Italy

2006-06-01 10:59

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

ITALY

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 15 (1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

World Cup winners: 3 (1934, 1938, 1982)

European champions: 1 (1968)

Fifa world ranking: 14

Odds: 8/1

Coach: Marcello Lippi

One of the most respected coaches in world football, Lippi is credited with building an exciting young Italian team after the twin disasters of the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.

A superb motivator and man-manager, Lippi is most famous for his successful spells at Juventus between 1994 and 1999 and 2001-2004. A rarity amongst his counterparts at the World Cup, he has never coached outside of Italy.

Key player: Francesco Totti

Hyped as one of the best strikers in the world, Totti has flattered to deceive at the highest level and has performed miserably at the last two tournaments he has played in, having been sent off for diving at the 2002 finals and suspended for spitting at an opponent in 2004.

Has been in a race to regain fitness after injuring an ankle in February but is certain to figure prominently in Lippi's plans.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Angelo Peruzzi (Lazio), Marco Amelia (Livorno)

Defenders:

Massimo Oddo (Lazio), Cristian Zaccardo (Palermo), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus), Fabio Grosso (Palermo)

Midfielders:

Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Simone Perrotta (Roma), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Simone Barone (Palermo), Francesco Totti (Roma)

Forwards:

Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Alberto Gilardino (AC Milan), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese)

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