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Italy National Soccer Team: 2012 Euro Roster

John WhiteContributor IIDecember 30, 2016

Italy National Soccer Team: 2012 Euro Roster

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    The Italian team was at the top of the World in 2006 when they won the World Cup, but since then the team has had lacklustre performances in their last 3 major competitions, the 2008 Euro, the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.  

    Since Cesare Prandelli was appointed as coach the team has taken a new look with many younger players taking on a major role in the first team. Unlike his predecessors Prandelli's team relies on the up and coming players rather than veterans.  

    Thanks to Prandelli players like Giovinco, Bonucci, and Ranocchia have taken a larger role with the national side and have began to show their talent.

    Here is a look at 23 players who could make up the roster for the 2012 European Championship.

Goalkeepers

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    With World Cup winner and current captain Gianluigi Buffon a virtual lock to start for Italy, the bigger question is who his understudy will be.

    Salvatore Sirigu the young promising goalie playing for Palermo will likely back up Buffon.  While Buffon will likely play all of Italy's games, an injury could be the opportunity Sirigu needs to prove he can backstop the Azzurri for the foreseeable future.

    Gianluigi Buffon(Juventus)

    Salvatore Sirigu(Palermo)

    Emiliano Viviano(Internazionale)

Right Back

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    Santon is the future of the Italian National team as far as the right back position is concerned. While he is still young if he is given a chance he will prove he can handle the best the World has to offer. 

    Maggio's versatility will come in handy for Italy as he can easily fit in as a full back or Midfielder.

    Davide Santon(Internazionale)

    Christian Maggio(Napoli)

Centre Back

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    The surprise addition here is Cannavaro.  With a young sqaud the Napoli captain would provide leadership to the team, and is more than capable of handling himself should he get the chance.  

    Cannavaro was a big reason Napoli finished third this season.  He doesn't get the recognition he deserves because to many he is just italian legend Fabio Cannavaro's little brother.

    Giorgio Chiellini(Juventus)

    Leonardo Bonucci(Juventus)

    Andrea Ranocchia(Internazionale)

    Paolo Cannavaro(Napoli) 

Left Back

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    The left-back position is one which is easier to predict.

    Federico Balzaretti and Domenico Crisito have been the two top choices recently under Cesare Prandelli.  Balzaretti looks likely to edge out Criscito for the spot in the starting 11.

    Chiellini is also another option in the position, and if Ranocchia and Bonucci can form the partnership they did in Bari, it would allow Chiellini more freedom to join the attack.

    Federico Balzaretti(Palermo)

    Domenico Criscito(Zenit St. Petersburg)

Midfield

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    With World Cup winning midfielders Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi still in top form, the two are a virtual lock to represent Italy in 2012.

    Montolivo who is wanted by a number of top clubs is another player who has seen a lot of play recently for the nationale and will likely have a spot on Prandelli's team.  

    Claudio Marchisio and Antonio Nocerino, have been regulars with the team and their continued strong play will cement their spot with the team.  Alberto Aquilani whose strong form in Serie A saw he recalled by the Azzurri will probably have the toughest time keeping a spot with the team.  

    Aquilani, who struggled with Liverpool, will have to continue to show the form he did with Juventus back in England if he wants to be on the team next year at the Euro.

    Andrea Pirlo(Juventus)

    Daniele De Rossi(Roma)

    Claudio Marchisio(Juventus)

    Antonio Nocerino(Palermo)

    Ricardo Montolivo(Fiorentina)

    Alberto Aquilani(Liverpool)

Forwards

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    The Forwards are pretty much set already.  Cassano, Pazzini and Rossi all look guaranteed a spot in 2012.  With Giovinco and Balotelli likely each to feature in their first major tournament for the national team.  The last spot is up for grabs and Matri will have to out perform Alberto Gilardino, and club teammate Fabio Quagliarella to name a few.  

    Antonio Cassano(Milan)

    Giancarlo Pazzini(Internazionale)

    Giuseppe Rossi(Villareal)

    Sebastian Giovinco(Parma)

    Mario Balotelli(Manchester City)

    Alessandro Matri(Juventus) 

The Starting 11

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    Buffon

    Santon—Ranocchia—Bonucci—Chiellini

    De Rossi—Pirlo—Montolivo

    Cassano

    Pazzini—Rossi

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