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World Cup 2010: Italy Profile

Coach: Marcello Lippi
Confederation: UEFA
FIFA Ranking (Mar 10): 5
Previous Appearances: 16 (winner 1934, winner 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, final 1970, 1974, 1978, winner 1982, 1986, third place 1990, final 1994, 1998, 2002, winner 2006)


The current world champions don't need any special introduction. After Brazil, Italy are the most successful national team on the planet with four titles. They last conquered Germany in 2006 and surprised the media and the football world. After a disappointing showing at Euro 2008 and the Confederations Cup a year later, Italian fans don't believe that the new 'Lippi Boys' can triumph like four years ago, however this scepticism can become a lethal weapon for Italy.

How They Qualified

Italy qualified with a game to spare in Group 8 of the European qualifying zone. It wasn't exciting. The Italian team rarely played scintillating football during the qualification phase but they were undefeated nonetheless and Azzurri faithful are now looking to June.


Marcello Lippi loves to speak about the group, the collective, the team. He doesn't like individualism, that's why cohesion is the most important Azzurri virtue. Like in 2006, if you remember. But Italy also have a solid defence led by Juventus trio Buffon, Cannavaro and Chiellini.


Italy's biggest problem is in attack. The Azzurri lack a world class forward like Messi, Kaka or Torres. Gilardino, Iaquinta, and Di Natale are good players, but they don't seem to be decisive.

The Coach

Marcello Lippi is a winner. His honours list is as impressive as anyone in the world: from Serie A to Champions League, from Intercontinental Cup to World Cup, nothing is missing. He has clear ideas and precise principles that he doesn't betray even in front of popular uprisings. For this reason he's disliked by many Italian fans, despite Germany 2006...

Star Men

Gigi Buffon (Juventus)

He's back to being the best goalkeeper in the world after having spent some hard times with Juve in recent years. When Buffon is 100%, heis like a decisive playmaker or striker. He was one of the heroes of the Azzurri victory in Germany.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

Fabio Cannavaro is still the leader of the team, but the best Italian defender is Giorgio Chiellini. He has grown amazingly in the last few seasons and is a guaranteed starter for Italy and Juventus.

Andrea Pirlo (Milan)

If Pirlo plays well then his team plays well. The rule applies to Italy and AC Milan. Lippi has designed a new position on the field for the former Inter player, bringing him close to the strikers in the role of offensive playmaker. Will it be the decisive move for Azzurri ambitions?

Best Footballing Moment

The 1982 and 2006 triumphs were unforgettable. During Spain '82, the Azzurri defeated Argentina, Brazil and Germany, some of the best national teams in the world. Germany 2006 was a redemption after the Calciopoli scandal.

Off The Pitch

Famous for: Italy are the world champions in football and the leaders in other areas. Food, fashion, beauty, sports cars and motorcycles... Italians do it better.

Most likely to: If you listen the chorus 'Popopopopopopo' with the 'Seven Nation Army' melody don't fear the Italian fans who are coming...

World Cup Objective

The world champions must fight to defend their crown, no excuses. An elimination before the semi-finals would be a complete failure.