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Del Piero named to provisional Italian Euro squad


Juventus striker and Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero has been named to Italy’s provisional 24-man roster for the European Championships next month. Italy coach Roberto Donadoni will have to trim the roster by one player before the tournament.

Del Piero is coming off a dream season for Juventus that saw him score 21 goals to lead Serie A. The 33-year-old hasn’t played much for Italy since helping Italy win the 2006 World Cup but his form this season has been remarkable.

The usual suspects were also on the roster, including Luca Toni, Andrea Pirlo, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon. Some familiar faces won’t be around though in retired legends Francesco Totti, Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta.

Also not on the roster is Giuseppe Rossi. Not that he was a strong candidate to be on the Euro squad but I know some American fans will take joy in Rossi not making the team (He will be at the Olympics though so don’t go getting too giddy.)

Here is the full roster:

Italian National Team (provisional European Championship roster)

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

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

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

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

What do you think of the roster? Can it pull the World Cup-Euro double ala France in 98 and 2000? Is it doomed to falter in a loaded group? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Paolo Maldini hasn’t been a suspect since World Cup 2002…

    And Enzo Bearzot, the 1982 (the year of Paolo Rossi) World Cup winning Italian coach, favored taking Rossi to Euro 2008, so I would say that he had better than average chances of going. A pity, then, that his early-season injury seems to have robbed him of the chance to go to the European championship as opposed to the Olympics.

    Once again, I am amazed at how incredulous people are of Rossi’s Azzurri chances — he is considered the next great Italian supporting striker and is on his way to becoming an absolutely world class supporting striker. The Italians DON’T TAKE CHANCES ON YOUNG PLAYERS! Rossi’s time will come in 2010 or maybe in the 2009 Confederations Cup (the Italians may trot him out against the United States for fun).

  2. Moneyball, you’re right about having such a good keeper in Buffon is a problem for other goalies. I think Toldo was adversely affected by Buffon’s presence. Back when Toldo was playing well it was arguable that he and Buffon were equal, but Buffon was younger and so regarded as having more upside and so chosen as Italy’s no 1 every match. When the Euros in 2000 came around Buffon was out injured and Toldo had his chance to take the spot. And he performed exceptionally well in that tournament (his performance against Holland being unbelieveable) and was widely praised. After his outstanding performances in that tournament he felt he deserved to be Italy’s no1, but as soon as Buffon came back from injury the spot was handed right back to him. I believe Toldo after that was never the same goalkeeper again because he felt there was nothing he could do to take hold of the spot in the Nat team. As good as he was (and he was pretty darn amazing) they were always going to choose Buffon ahead of him.

  3. forza italia ! all you haters better recognize when the azzurri do the double and give it up to the italians for ruling world futbol on the international level at this time. otherwise all your comments hold no credibility. i agree with vito, italia vs germany in the final.

  4. This is an awesome lineup especially up front where there is tremendous dept for Italy. Donadoni has the luxury of being able to choose between six proven goalscorers and can bring one or two on if needed in extra time.. Del Piero can be a creator or scorer and along with Pirlo will give Toni or DeNatale the service they need to score. Gattuso, Ambrosini are guarantees in midfield as proven ball winners and markers. The only possible weakness could be in defense without Nesta but with superstar Buffon in goal who needs him. I look for Italy to advance easily as they always do well against Holland and Romania and France appears to be stuggling to score goals with only Henry reliable, and they don’t have a good goalie. Look for Italy and Germany in the Final

  5. All of their wives or girlfriends (and for some, both) are better looking than any girl you’ve ever seen. It’s absurd.

    Richard – Amelia’s situation is the tough thing about being a goalkeeper. At other positions, you can shift and play around with formations to get your best guys on the field, but there can be only one goalkeeper.

    And when you’re from the same country as the incomparable Buffon, well…I guess you either have to become the best in the world yourself, or just turn your focus back to your club team. It’s too bad for him personally, but a good problem to have if you’re Donadoni, I suppose.

  6. Not that Donadoni was a forward, but he was in a similar situation for Euro 96. Sacchi tried to rebuild the squad after USA 94, but needed a veteran presence at a position where he had not found a suitable new player. I think Donadoni recognizes the need. Nice symmetry (even if not precisely true).

  7. Del Piero was magnificent this year, doesn’t hurt my feelings at all to see him this summer. The year after the WC he pretty much disappeared from the national team scene, but soccernet says he played in 5 euro ’08 qualifiers, although he hasn’t scored since the world cup.

    I’m glad to see Cassano on the squad, I thoroughly enjoyed watching his work this year. But I do have a soft spot for talented head cases.

    Wow, we’re really 17 days from Euro ’08?!? SWEET.

  8. Giacamo, maybe you should stick to what you know:

    AFP: “Veteran attacker Del Piero has been regularly overlooked by the world champions recently…”

    Rueters: “Del Piero, 33, has not played for the world champions in eight months but was expected to be included after finishing as Serie A’s top scorer for the first time with 21 goals this term.”

    In the year after the World Cup he started once for Italy and over the last year he started 3 times in Italy’s 12 qualifiers.

    “Not featured much” is a pretty apt description.

  9. I think the forwards are set in stone 100%

    The defense looks good (even without oddo)

    I think the man to be dropped will be montolivo… i like him a lot, but he’ll be great in the olympics…

    Curci probably wasn’t added so he could be the olympic keeper and not the 3rd string at euro…

    -On a side note, when will Amelia get his chance?? does buffon get this euro and one more wc at 32 (young) or does he get wc 2014 as well when he is 36 and amelia is 32… and 4 years younger than amelia is curci so this problem will occur for many years down the road…

  10. Every time I see an Italy squad I look at the names and can’t believe Rossi will ever be an Italy regular. So many truly good players only get garbage caps for Italy it’s nuts!

    Giacomo, surely a genius like you realizes Oddo has barely played in the past month and a half due to fitness and injury problems. If you are going to act so smug, at least mention that as a possible reason Oddo didn’t make the provisional squad with only EIGHT days before Donadoni has to submit his final roster.

  11. I don’t think the squad is as strong this go around than they were two years ago at the world cup. Going into the World Cup you had pretty much the entire squad comming off of exellent seasons with their club teams. This go around it doesn’t seem that there’s as many players going into the competition in quite the same form. Still, there’s potential. The competition is short so its not like they have to play well for too long. Del P was exellent and Toni ended his first BL season very strong. And despite my feeling the squad isn’t as strong as they were two years ago, the performance they had a couple of months ago in a friendly against Portugal was quite impressive. Still, if I had to bet I would probably not choose them to win.

  12. This is why you should stick to what you know, Mr.Ives….

    Del Piero has in fact featured for Italy since World Cup 06. Actually, more than once if I recall correctly. He just didn’t get called up for the last two friendlies….because the coach was trying out new players….and alraedy knew with Alex could do…..

    Matteo Sereni and Massimo Oddo are guys who I thought would have made the cut…as well as Inzaghi who finished the year with 10 goals in 7 games….but you of course know that….


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