Buffon Called Up By Prandelli For Germany Friendly

by Niccolo Conte on February 6, 2011 · 3 comments

Cesare Prandelli has a big test coming up, when the Italian national team faces Germany in Dortmund on February 8th. His list of 23 called up players features some new faces, along with a few returning veterans. Yet the squad which has been called up is missing some important players who are injured. The star striker of the future, Mario Balotelli is still injured, along with Quagliarella, Pirlo, and Pepe, with Prandelli deciding not to call up Marchisio and Gilardino.

There are plenty of experienced players returning, among them is Gianluigi Buffon. Juve's keeper is finally in a relatively positive state of fitness, but Prandelli's call up highlights a sickly dependence on the keeper which needs to stop soon. While Buffon is a legendary goalkeeper, Prandelli can't drag the 33 year-old to the 2012 European Championships, Italy needs a younger keeper. I've seen Sirigu (who has been called up) make some excellent saves for Palermo, and he's probably my first choice to be Buffon's heir.

Here's the 23 players called up by Cesare Prandelli for the friendly against Germany:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Salvatore Sirigu, Emiliano Viviano

Defenders: Davide Astori, Leonardo Bonucci, Mattia Cassani, Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito, Christian Maggio, Andrea Ranocchia

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani, Daniele De Rossi, Sebastian Giovinco, Stefano Mauri, Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Nocerino, Thiago Motta, Angelo Palombo

Forwards: Marco Borriello, Antonio Cassano, Alessandro Matri, Giampaolo Pazzini, Giuseppe Rossi

Something which hit me when I was looking at the teams which these players play for is that there are now three Inter Milan players in the squad! Somehow, the club notorious for its lack of Italians, has snuck in three players into the national team. I'm glad to see Ranocchia, Pazzini, and Thiago Motta in the team, because all three of them are relatively youthful and energetic.

I'm also glad to see Alessandro Matri being called up. The ex-Cagliari forward who recently joined Juventus in the January transfer window has been banging in the goals this season. Giovinco is also being given a chance after his re-emergence at Parma, and I'd really like to see this pair of newcomers succeed.

How do you think Italy will do against Germany in the friendly? Is this squad good enough? Share your predictions and comments below!

3 comments… read them below or add one

1 Ben February 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

I’m thrilled that Giovinco is going to have a chance to play. He’s a very underrated, underappreciated player who is often overlooked. He’s got a tremendous amount of skill and he can put himself to good use whether it’s on the international or club side. I was surprised Prandelli left out Marchisio and Gilardino. Marchisio has been a staple on the NT for quite a while now and without many better options, I was almost certain he’d be in the starting 11. I do respectfully disagree with your comments on Buffon. In seeing him progress since his return, he’s nearly at full fitness and although he’s not as swift as his days in 2006, he’s a world class keeper even if he isn’t in top form which says something. Sirigu is very talented and is the definite heir apparent but Gigi has a few very good years left in him and I think he gives Italy its best chance to win in the 2012 European campaign. All in all, I think the match against Germany will be very close, neither side scoring more than 2 goals. My guess, 1-0 either way is more than likely but it will be hard fought the entire 90 minutes.


2 Niccolo Conte February 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I fear what will happen against Germany. I think that they could easily tear Italy apart if Prandelli isn’t astute with his formation etc. Luckily, many of the Bayern Munich players have been underperforming this season, forcing Lowe to bring in more new players, or stick with his set of players from the World Cup. Either choice could cause rifts in the German squad, ultimately making their play less fluid.

We’ll have to wait and see.


3 Wendy February 26, 2011 at 3:14 am

Buffon is obviously the best Italian goalkeeper until now. How old is he? 32 or 33? I really hope they can bounce back to their international failures. Cassano has been called up but Del Piero is not there.

In my own opinion they should have a leader on the pitch. With the likes of Rino Gattuso or Andrea Pirlo on the midfield, they will surely fuse Italians as one.


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