Preview: Italy's Group E is what you might call "the group of death," with
three world powers Italy,
competing for two second round
slots. Nevertheless, Italy should advance, and are considered one of the
possible champions. Italy is one of the the more storied teams in the
tournament, as the Azzuri have 3 World Cups to their name.
A lot of the old names are back, goalkeeper Buffon, defenders Nesta,
Cannavaro, and Matarazzi, as well as forwards Del Piero, Inzaghi and Totti.
Joining them is perhaps the most exciting player in Italian football this year,
Luca Toni. The Fiorentina forward led the Seria A with 31 goals, and
scored several important in World Cup qualifiers. Italian football has
always been known for it's defense, and this year's squad comes with no shortage
of depth and firepower in the offensive game. What they did to Germany
a 4-1 thumping earlier this year could be a preview of things
to come this summer.
Result: Make that 4 World Cups! The Azzuri looked somewhat shaky
in the early goings, especially against the
but Italy has been a notorious slow starter throughout World Cup history.
A thrilling last-minute victory over
pitted the Italians against
and the rest is history.