Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup 2010: italy Defending Champion Takes Field Today

Italy's World Cup team, the World Cup 2010 defending champion and the four-time World Cup Soccer champions of the world come into the 2010 World Cup with a target on their back as defending champions, while simultaneously being viewed as weak by almost the entire world, including Italy. Italy is the second most successful national team in the history of the World Cup having won four titles (1934, 1938, 1982, and 2006) just one fewer than Brazil

Italy's World Cup 2010 team includes many of the same core players on the 2006 Italy World Cup champion team, returning for a second go at winning the ultimate World Cup 2010 trophy.

Italy's blue, azzurro, in Italian due to the "Azzurro Savoia" (Savoy Blue), the color traditionally linked to the royal dynasty which unified Italy in 1861, and maintained in the official standard of the President of the Italian Republic.

In 2006, Italy's Serie A was embroiled in scandal and Italy was expected to be dumped out of the competition quickly. The midfield were derided as having no creativity and the strikers were aging. Italy, of course, went on to top their group, beat a sensational Germany, and put on a defensive clinic against France to win the Cup on penalties.

Italy seems old and weak. They haven't impressed in warm-ups against Mexico or Switzerland, and play maker Andrea Pirlo (calf injury) could miss quite a few games. But, in the end, the Italians are the defending champions, and while they do have a penchant for giving lazy performances when the title isn't on the line, they also make it a habit of proving people wrong.

Italy 's first World Cup 2010 game is today 2:30 ET against Paraguay. For more on Soccer match travel to Italy click

Meet the Italy 2010 World Cup Squad - VIDEO

Current squad

23 players called up for 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Caps and goals as of 5 June 2010.
No.NameDate of birthClubCaps (goals)Debut
1Gianluigi Buffon28 January 1978 (age 32)(1978-01-28) Italy Juventus101 (0)v. Russia, 29 October 1997
12Federico Marchetti7 February 1983 (age 27)(1983-02-07) Italy Cagliari5 (0)v. Northern Ireland, 6 June 2009
14Morgan De Sanctis27 March 1977 (age 33)(1977-03-27) Italy Napoli3 (0)v. Iceland, 30 March 2005
5Fabio Cannavaro13 September 1973 (age 36)(1973-09-13) United Arab Emirates Al-Ahli133 (2)v. Northern Ireland, 22 January 1997
19Gianluca Zambrotta19 February 1977 (age 33)(1977-02-19) Italy Milan94 (2)v. Norway, 10 February 1999
4Giorgio Chiellini14 August 1984 (age 25)(1984-08-14) Italy Juventus29 (2)v. Finland, 17 November 2004
3Domenico Criscito30 December 1986 (age 23)(1986-12-30) Italy Genoa7 (0)v. Switzerland, 12 August 2009
2Christian Maggio11 February 1982 (age 28)(1982-02-11) Italy Napoli5 (0)v. Greece, 19 November 2008
13Salvatore Bocchetti30 November 1986 (age 23)(1986-11-30) Italy Genoa5 (0)v. Republic of Ireland, 10 October 2009
23Leonardo Bonucci1 May 1987 (age 23)(1987-05-01) Italy Bari2 (1)v. Cameroon, 3 March 2010
8Gennaro Gattuso9 January 1978 (age 32)(1978-01-09) Italy Milan72 (1)v. Sweden, 23 February 2000
21Andrea Pirlo19 May 1979 (age 31)(1979-05-19) Italy Milan66 (8)v. Azerbaijan, 7 September 2002
6Daniele De Rossi24 July 1983 (age 26)(1983-07-24) Italy Roma54 (8)v. Norway, 4 September 2004
16Mauro Camoranesi4 October 1976 (age 33)(1976-10-04) Italy Juventus53 (5)v. Portugal, 12 February 2003
17Angelo Palombo25 September 1981 (age 28)(1981-09-25) Italy Sampdoria17 (0)v. Croatia, 16 August 2006
7Simone Pepe30 August 1983 (age 26)(1983-08-30) Italy Juventus15 (0)v. Bulgaria, 11 October 2008
22Riccardo Montolivo18 January 1985 (age 25)(1985-01-18) Italy Fiorentina13 (0)v. South Africa, 17 October 2007
15Claudio Marchisio19 January 1986 (age 24)(1986-01-19) Italy Juventus4 (0)v. Switzerland, 12 August 2009
11Alberto Gilardino5 July 1982 (age 27)(1982-07-05) Italy Fiorentina41 (16)v. Norway, 4 September 2004
9Vincenzo Iaquinta21 November 1979 (age 30)(1979-11-21) Italy Juventus37 (5)v. Iceland, 30 March 2005
10Antonio Di Natale13 October 1977 (age 32)(1977-10-13) Italy Udinese33 (9)v. Turkey, 20 November 2002
18Fabio Quagliarella31 January 1983 (age 27)(1983-01-31) Italy Napoli20 (4)v. Scotland, 29 March 2007
20Giampaolo Pazzini2 August 1984 (age 25)(1984-08-02) Italy Sampdoria8 (1)v. Montenegro, 28 March 2009

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