Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Del Piero still in Italy squad for Euro 2008 (SN)

SoccerNews in European Championships, Serie A 20 May 2008


Alessandro Del Piero made the cut on Tuesday as Italy coach Roberto Donadoni trimmed his Euro 2008 list of possibles down to 24 – though he has to drop one name by May 28.

Veteran attacker Del Piero has been regularly overlooked by the world champions recently, but scored twice at the weekend for Juventus to give him a Serie A best goal tally for the season of 21.

Italy have six forwards in the 24 but Del Piero is easily the most experienced with his 85 caps, although Bayern Munich hitman Luca Toni is nowadays top dog.

Marco Borriello of Genoa has won just two caps, Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano just 10 and Udinese's Fabio Quagliarella only eight.

Antonio Di Natale of Udinese has won 17.

“There are no reserves,” insisted Donadoni. “There are 24 players who will play for a place in the squad.”

The squad is, however, brimming with experience offered by the 14 players who were part of Italy's World Cup-winning team in Germany in 2006.

Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta and AC Milan defender Massimo Oddo missed the cut through injury, while Borriello was preferred up front to AC Milan veteran striker Filippo Inzaghi, 34.

“For 'Pippo' (Inzaghi), age didn't come into it. It was a technical choice,” Donadoni said, adding: “I'm disappointed for Oddo but his injury has been determined.”

In a statement published on the Milan website, Inzaghi, who has scored 25 goals in 57 appearances for Italy, said: “I'm disappointed, above all on a human level.

“At the start, there was a positive, franck and direct rapport with the coach,” he said.

“I thought I'd demonstrated my loyalty, whether it be by travelling for games without playing, or by scoring (two goals) last year against the Faroe Isles in a qualification game worth three points like all the others.

“Then, there's been silence, notwithstanding my performances with Milan on all continents and the 18 goals scored from winter to April-May.”

The Italy squad meets up in the federal training centre in Florence on Sunday and will remain there until May 30, when they play their final warm-up game at the city's Artemio-Franchi stadium against Belgium.

After a free weekend, they will then regather in Milan to fly to their basecamp in Baden, Austria on June 2 ahead of the June 7-29 tournament co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

Italy are in Group C alongside Romania, France and the Netherlands. Their first game is against the Dutch in Bern on June 9.


Goalkeepers: Marco Amelia (Livorno/6 caps), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/81), Morgan De Sanctis (Sevilla/ESP/2)

Defenders: Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid/ESP/115, capt), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo/21), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus/9), Fabio Grosso (Lyon/FRA/30), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan/40), Christian Panucci (AS Roma/52), Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona/ESP/70)

Midfielders: Massimo Ambrosini (AC Milan/30), Alberto Aquilani (AS Rome/4), Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus/34), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma/33), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan/57), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina/1), Simone Perrotta (AS Roma/40), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan/45)

Strikers: Marco Borriello (Genoa/2), Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria/10), Antonio Di Natale (Udinese/17), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus/85), Fabio Quagliarella (Udinese/8), Luca Toni (Bayern/GER/33)


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