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By Filippo Zucchi

MILAN, MAY 9 (DS) - At last senior Trapattoni has made his decision: he preferred to leave Italian soccer star Roberto Baggio at home. The fans of "Codino" in Italy and worldwide were unable to do anything; their numerous attempts to influence the situation were doomed to failure. "We were waiting for the final result", stated to agencies Baggio's family after the manager decision on the 23 players list named for the forthcoming World Cup.
As everyone can see, there were no surprises about the Trapattoni's decision. Experienced coach invited the men who had helped their side to qualify for the finals in Japan and Korea.
The choice of the goalie is one of the main problems of Italian coach because Francesco Toldo (aged 30) of Inter and Gianluigi Buffon (born in 1978, much younger than Inter's goalkeeper) were absolute stars during the season. Judging from the last matches, it seems that Buffon is the favourite to get number one shirt but Toldo is the Euro 2000 hero and he is much more experienced than his younger colleague.
The core of the defense is already built up as Giovanni Trapattoni has the world most talented trio to field: Alessandro Nesta (26, captain of SS Lazio), Fabio Cannavaro (Parma's central defender, aged 29) and Italian football legend Paolo Maldini (AC Milan, more than a hundred caps won with the national team, aged 33). There are also Marco Materazzi (former Everton defender and now Inter Milan star aged 29) and Christan Panucci (29, AS Roma) ready to help their teammates if Trapattoni decides to play with for defenders.
The left wing also may be occupied by Barcelona star Francesco Coco, but he doesn't seem to gain the line-up place as Trapattoni has several solutions over the left line.
The central couple of Azzurri midfield line will consists of Luigi Di Biagio (Inter, 30) with the Cuper's key player Cristiano Zanetti. These two players perform in the same team and know each other well, so this means they will add substance to Italian midfield also because they want revenge. Di Biagio hit the bar during the penalty shootout in 1998 World Cup which gave France a chance to continue the struggle for the Cup. Di Biagio and Zanetti are eager to make the season bright also because they lost "scudetto" in Serie A final round. Another two players ready to step in instead of Inter's couple are Damiano Tommasi (29, AS Roma) and Gennaro Gattuso (24, AC Milan). The wingers in Italian national team are also experienced and well-known players Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus, 25 years old) and Angelo Di Livio (Fiorentina), besides, nominal striker Marco Delvecchio may perform as the left winger.
The attack is the most powerful line in Italy. There will be great fight for the number 10 jersey and the playmaker position between Francesco Totti (26, captain and symbol of AS Roma) and Alessandro Del Piero (28, FC Juventus, hero of the last title). Though both are experienced and well-known players, it seems that Totti will be named in the starting line-up in the first games while Juventus star will be the tactical weapon of Trapattoni. These two may be fielded together only if Alex Del Piero will perform as a second forward.
The couple of strikers are Christian Vieri (29, Inter Milan, scored 22 times this year in 23 games, a goal machine) and Filippo Inzaghi (29, Ac Milan). They are champions, they are friends, they are currently in good form (especially Inzaghi) and they could outscore any defence in the World. But Trapattoni may surprise everybody in case of emergency fielding Cristiano Doni (Atalanta, 29 years, he scored 15 playing as a midfielder this year) instead of Totti and Vincenzo Montella, nicknamed Airplane (28, AS Roma) instead of Inzaghi. Everyone believes in Italy that one of these two players can become new Paolo Rossi. Do you remember how World Cup finished twenty years ago?
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