World Cup Team Football Boots – Italy

FIFA Ranking: 5

Group: F

Path Ahead of the World Cup

As current Champions of the World Cup tournament Italy cruised through qualifying. In a tricky qualifying group that included Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria, Italy turned on the style to go through unbeaten. Winning 7 and drawing 3, the Azzurri racked up 18 goals.

Key Men

Gianluigi Buffon and Alberto Gilardino

Buffon has a outstanding reputation both on and off the pitch. A model professional, Buffon is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world right now – and certainly the best to play for Italy. ‘Gi Gi’s cap count of 102 makes him the second most experienced player in the team, behind Fabio Cannovaro.

When Italy look for goals – they look to Alberto Gilardino. 16 goals in 48 appearances make him Italy’s highest scoring player in the 23 man squad. His season for Fiorentina will also have him full of confidence: 18 goals in 43 appearances give him an almost goal-a-game ratio in Serie A.

The Gaffer

Marcello Lippi was the manager who guided Italy to the World Cup final in 2006. He didn’t renew his contract immediately afterward, instead choosing to have a 2 year sabbatical away form football. After seeing his team go out of the European Championships in 2008, Lippi stepped back up to the plate to guide his team to glory once more.

Prediction: Quarter Finals

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