Posts Tagged ‘Fabio Cannavaro’

France vs. Italy in 30 Pictures

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Since I’m in an “uploading-pictures” kind of mood, here are selected snapshots of Euro 2008′s France vs. Italy match two days ago. Emphasis on “selected” (i.e. by me, because I thought they were funny and because I just can).

Also, since every self-respecting picture should include a caption, I have provided two for each. By hovering over the picture, the real (serious/boring) caption (as well as any photo credits) will pop up. Below the picture, a funnier (I hope) version of the same caption by me.

Note that with regards to the match timeline, pictures are in no particular chronological order.


Cannavaro-Heartbreak: Ankle Injury Sends Azzurri Captain Home

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

God bloody darnit!! :( (((((((

The Azzurri’s first day in Austria started in the worst possible way Monday: captain Fabio Cannavaro picked up a knock as he challenged the ball with teammate Giorgio Chiellini, and the late prognosis indicates what everyone had been fearing but dared not to think about: ligament damage to the left ankle, Cannavaro will have to go home. An operation might even be necessary for the Real Madrid center-back, but that’s something to be decided by the Merengues doctor.

In his place, Roberto Donadoni will most likely call up Fiorentina’s Alessandro Gamberini (reports seem to have that already confirmed) but at this point, there’s really no one that could have the same happy spirit, leadership, and defensive capabilities as Cannavaro. He was the symbol of our World Cup title in 2006, the link that kept the defensive chain together, and the unquestionable team leader of the Azzurri. This is a big fu**ing blow for Donadoni, not a single shred of doubt about that.

The question now obviously, is WHO? That is, WHO will replace our Berlin Wall, and partner up with Andrea Barzagli in the Azzurri defense?

Our options are four-fold:

1) Marco Materazzi
He didn’t have one of his best years with Inter, and his mediocre season culminated with the show he put on in the game vs. Siena (offside back save on Julio Cruz’s shot, then insisting on taking Cruz’s PK and missing it). Despite all that, Matrix remains the most likely vice-Cannavaro candidate, on account of his international experience and reliability with the Azzurri shirt. Let’s face it: aside from that 2006 red card vs. Australia, Materazzi’s record with Italy has been almost impeccable.

2) Giorgio Chiellini
For Juve’s return to Serie A, he formed with Nicola Legrottaglie one of the best defensive duos of the Italian league this year. 2007-08 was by far one of the best seasons in Chiellini’s career, and the fact that he performed so well in an unfamiliar role (Ranieri converted him from left to center-back) just adds more praise to Keyser Giorgio’s achievement. The only snag: very limited international experience (European cups included).

3) Christian Panucci
Right now, it seems that “Old Man River” is the most likely candidate for a right-back starting role. However, the great thing about Panucci is that the right-back can transform into a very reliable center-back as well (as he did many times with Roma this year). This would shift Zambrotta to the right and bring in Fabio Grosso on the left, and the advantage of this solution is the incredible amount of experience and reliabilty Panucci would bring to the center-back position.

4) Alessandro Gamberini
He’s had an excellent season with Fiorentina this year, but right now he undoubtedly is the least likely candidate for a starting role.


The second question Cannavaro’s absence brings up is… CAPTAINCY. Who will be the successor? Every clue points to Gigi Buffon, although other possibilities include Alessandro Del Piero (which at this point, becomes the Azzurri’s most capped player in Donadoni’s roster), Andrea Pirlo, or even Gennaro Gattuso.

Here’s what Gazzetta readers think:

Italy’s Euro 2008 Roster – 23 Players, Aye to Cassano & Del Piero, Nay to Montolivo

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

In accordance to the UEFA-imposed May 28 deadline, Italian coach Roberto Donadoni has made his final roster selection for Euro 2008: the 23 players who will representing the Azzurri this Summer have been picked and as many expected, Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo was the player discarded from the manager’s Pre-selection list.

I was expecting it, I’m not too disappointed” said Montolivo. “The coach told me I had been excluded from the roster, and we’ll discuss the possibility of me staying among the group until Friday, and perhaps participating in the friendly vs. Belgium in Florence“. Donadoni himself however revealed, later in the day, that Montolivo would be leaving Coverciano. “The choice has been made yesterday evening. I gave [Montolivo] the choice of remaining with us, and he decided to leave tonight“.

It’s worth mentioning that Montolivo was, until the last minute, in serious contention with Quagliarella. It isn’t a coincidence that in the official team picture, both Montolivo and Quagliarella appear on the far ends of the second and bottom rows respectively (i.e. in easy “position” to be cut out). The same situation had taken place for Euro 2000 and Giuseppe Pancaro, who was then discarded at the last minute by then-coach Dino Zoff.

Also, many (myself included) had expected the Don to make his final choice between Montolivo and Aquilani (who was struggling with form & playing time in the last part of the season), but I guess Donadoni was reassured by the performances of the Roma player during practice, and reverted his final choice to Montolivo/Quagliarella (the Udinese striker also had a bleak end of the season, compared to his usual abilities).

In addition, the final shirt numbers have been submitted to UEFA. De Rossi has inherited Totti’s nº10, Del Piero will be keeping nº7, and Cassano wil take nº18 (formerly Pippo Inzaghi’s).

Here’s the full list with numbers:

Number Goalkeepers: Club:
Nº14 Marco Amelia Livorno
Nº1 Gianluigi Buffon Juventus
Nº17 Morgan De Sanctis Sevilla
Nº6 Andrea Barzagli Palermo
Nº5 Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid
Nº4 Giorgio Chiellini Juventus
Nº3 Fabio Grosso Lyon
Nº23 Marco Materazzi Inter
Nº2 Christian Panucci Roma
Nº19 Gianluca Zambrotta Barcelona
Nº13 Massimo Ambrosini Milan
Nº22 Alberto Aquilani Roma
Nº16 Mauro Camoranesi Juventus
Nº10 Daniele De Rossi Roma
Nº8 Gennaro Gattuso Milan
Nº20 Simone Perrotta Roma
Nº21 Andrea Pirlo Milan
Nº12 Marco Borriello Genoa
Nº18 Antonio Cassano Sampdoria
Nº7 Alessandro Del Piero Juventus
Nº11 Antonio Di Natale Udinese
Nº15 Fabio Quagliarella Udinese
Nº9 Luca Toni Bayern Munich

Italian Players Around the World (5/05)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Continuing my weekly article inspired by Gazzetta dello Sport, here are the performances of all Italian soccer players operating in foreign European leagues.

Based on Gazzetta’s info, there are currently 22 Italians playing in first divisions abroad, and 9 of them stepped on the field this week-end.

The table below includes the team the player belongs to, their opponents for the week, the number of minutes they played, their contribution (goal, assist), and the final score of the game.

Player Team Opp. mins. Contrib. Score
Carlo Cudicini Chelsea @Newcastle (bench) / 2-0
Massimo Donati Celtic @Motherwell (bench) / 2-1
Luca Toni Bayern M. @Wolfsburg 90 / 0-0
Fabio Cannavaro Real Madrid @Osasuna red card / 2-1
Giuseppe Rossi Villareal Getafe 80 / 2-0
Christian Abbiati Atl. Madrid Recreativo (bench) / 3-0
Gianluca Zambrotta Barcelona Valencia 90 / 6-0
Enzo Maresca Sevilla Valladolid 60 1 assist 2-0
Morgan De Sanctis Sevilla Valladolid (bench) / 2-0
Emiliano Moretti Valencia @Barcelona (injd.) / 0-6
Stefano Sorrentino Recreativo @Atl. Madrid 90 / 0-3
Damiano Tommasi Levante Espanyol (injd.) / 1-1
Fabio Grosso Lyon @Nice (susp.) / 0-0
Flavio Roma Monaco @Lens (injd.) / 0-0
Graziano Pellè AZ Alkmaar / SEASON OVER /
Roberto Mirri Mons @St. Truiden 90 / 1-1
Alessandro Pistone Mons @St. Truiden 90 / 1-1
Stefano Razzetti St. Gallen Sion (bench) / 1-2
Andrea Guatelli FC Zürich @Basel (bench) / 0-4
Stefano Napoleoni Widzew Łódź Sosnowiec 90 / 0-1
Ivan Pelizzoli Lok. Moscow Luch Energiya (bench) / 2-2

Heroes of the week

No goals for them (actually even an -undeserved- red card for Fabio), but plenty to celebrate for Mr. Cannavaro and Mr. Toni: Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were crowned respectively La Liga and Bundesliga champions this week. Joining the fun, Mr. Maresca who provided good passes an an assist in Sevilla’s 2-0 match vs. Valladolid.

Luca Toni, age 30 Fabio Cannavaro, age 34 Enzo Maresca, age 28