Having won the competition eight years ago, Italy’s 2010 World Cup campaign was one they sought to quickly put behind them. Marcello Lippi left and a raft of older players were dropped, never to return to the national team setup under new coach Cesare Prandelli.
The former Fiorentina boss set about drastically altering both the style of play and the public perception of the Azzurri, taking them around the peninsula as a force for good while imposing a much more attack-minded mentality. That led in turn to an excellent showing at Euro 2012, where only a rampant display by Spain in the Final denied them the ultimate prize.
In the two intervening years, Prandelli has continued to improve the side, leading them to their best ever qualifying campaign as they topped Group B and sealed their place in Brazil with two games to spare. Now making his last few experiments with the squad, the coach has a solid core of players who are almost certain to be at the tournament this summer.
Over the following pages, those players are listed by position, along with a number of those just on the fringes of the final 23-man shortlist.
All stats courtesy of WhoScored.com