The world cup football 2006 is underway in Germany. The world is to witness stirring football actions, rattling runs of dark horses and the juggernauts of the upbeats rolling. These days belong to the gleeful rooters of the game around the globe and also to the money-sprinkling wagerers. My team for this world cup is Italy. Under Marcello Lippi, they have changed extra-ordinarily, one must admit. There were times when Italy were fully dependent on its unassailable defence and nothing else. But now they have realised the importance of onrush too. This time, Italy’s world cup hopes would be centered around the 29-year-old Fiorentina striker Luca Toni and another 29-year-old, from AS Roma, Francesco Totti. Toni is also a favourite for the Golden Boot this time, though there are many others around. A fully fledged Azzurri strike force would be fantastic to see in a world cup final round, but the injuries to Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluca Zambrotta hover over the Italian hopes.
This is my team, not taking into account the injuries. 🙂 I would also go for the new 4-3-1-2 strategy for the present Italian side with the skipper Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta, Zambrotta and Marco Materazzi making the water-tight defence. The three in the mid-field are Gattuso, Mauro Camoranesi and Andrea Pirlo. The remaining 1-2 are Totti and the duo of Toni and Alberto Gilardino. Gianluigi Buffon is at the goal. The recent match-fixing scandals have shaken the Italian football greatly and Buffon is also under the spotlight. But as long as the charges remain charges, a player is fit to play. With talents like Fabio Grosso, Simone Perrotta, Massimo Oddo, Alessandro Del Piero and Filippo Inzaghi waiting for their turns, the Azzurrris should not be doubtful in their quest to make it to the finals. But the road would be increasingly difficult as they might need to overcome France and Germany in their pursuit for the coveted title. Great if Italy and Brazil lock horns at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on July 9th to become the champions of the game! Hail Azzurris!
To me, Group E is the real group of death as opposed to the much talked about Group C. Argentina, Holland, Ivory Coast and Serbia-Montenegro fight it out for the second round in Group C whereas, Italy, Czech Republic, USA and Ghana battle it out in Group E. It is certain (99%) that Argentina and Holland will advance from C, but there are enough confusion in this matter regarding E. For the record, Czech is 2nd, USA 5th and Italy 13th in the FIFA rankings, and only two of them can pass through, if Ghana isn’t one of the dark horses!