Walker On June - 15 - 2009

Azzurri in South Africa Flashback

PRETORIA, 12 June - Last test for the Azzurri (Italy’s national squad) before the Confederations Cup, and Marcello Lippi tries Toni and Iaquinta in attack.

As announced from the Azzurri technical officer, the game is against the Tshwane Eleven (a squad representing the local region) which serves to train the titolarì, and offer a singular testing of the climate.

Off to the Super Stadium at Atteridgeville, the Italian national side enters the field in unnumbered training gear and lineups with, Buffon between the sticks, Zambrotta, Legrottaglie, Chiellini and Grosso in defense; in midfield Gattuso De Rossi and Pirlo; and finally Camoranesi to right of attack with Toni and Iaquinta up front.

The players are watched closely by 5,000 local spectators, nearly double the quantity present at Italy’s last friendly against New Zealand two days prior. Hundreds of children, sing to each other, supplying a chorus loudly to the players and surprising the Azzurri with their admiration of the game events. ITALY wins 6-0, but are they ready for a US squad seeing the first game of competition as their best chance at points?

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