De Rossi & Rossi In, Legrottaglie Out: Lippi Names His 30 Man Squad

Marco RinaldiContributor IMay 11, 2010

FLORENCE, ITALY - MARCH 02:  Nicola Legrottaglie during an Italy national team training session at FIGC Centre at Coverciano at Coverciano on March 2, 2010 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Marcello Lippi promised there would be no surprises in his list of 30 for the World Cup preliminary squad, and he was almost telling the truth.

Almost, because a player thought to be a firm fixture in the squad, Nicola Legrottaglie, has been left out, with Daniele De Rossi and Giuseppe Rossi coming into the squad he named last week.  Legrottaglie's absence wull be a blow to the 33 year old Juve defender who had seen his international career reignited by Lippi's return to the bench, but it is arguable whether any Azzurri fans will be sad to see him miss out.

His "deselection" is a clear sign of Lippi's confidence in the younger Bocchetti and Bonucci as backups to his preferred central defensive partnership of Cannavaro and Chiellini, and that should encourage Italian fans that maybe the coach from Viareggio isn't quite as blinkered by his Juve days as some had thought.  Of course, there are still a number of players that many have some difficulty with - the likes of Grosso, Camoranesi and Gattuso, for instance, who have had poor seasons at their clubs - not to mention the exclusion of more exciting, controversial names such as Cassano and Balotelli, but for Azzurri tifosi searching for something positive this is welcome news.

Also encouraging for Italy is the inclusion in the 30 man squad of Giuseppe Rossi, who has finished the season in Spain in good form and who, if selected in the final 23, will give the Azzurri a few more options up front than the inclusion of more one-paced strikers such as Marco Borriello might have.

It remains to be seen who makes the final 23, but there are few who would argue that this 30 man squad, though only tweaked, is not better than the 29 man squad named last week.


Goalkeepers:  Buffon; Marchetti; De Sanctis; Sirigu

Defenders: Chiellini; Cannavaro; Bonucci; Grosso; Criscito; Zambrotta; Maggio; Bocchetti; Cassani

Midfielders: De Rossi; Pirlo; Gattuso; Marchisio; Pepe; Camoranesi; Montolivo; Palombo; Candreva; Cossu

Attackers: Gilardino; Iaquinta; Di Natale; Pazzinil Borriello; Quagliarella; G. Rossi