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Napoli’s Morgan De Sanctis, Christian Maggio, and Fabio Quagliarella have been selected by Italy boss Marcello Lippi for a two-day training camp in Rome.

Lippi has included the Napoli trio as part of a 29-man preliminary squad, before he names the final 23 players to represent Italy at the World Cup.

Goalkeeper De Sanctis will stand a good chance of being included in the final squad, although it’s unlikely he will add to his three international caps.  Gianluigi Buffon is justifiably the first-choice ‘keeper, but 33-year-old De Sanctis should provide experienced cover for him. An impressive debut season from De Sanctis has seen him seemingly grab the second-choice spot, with either Cagliari’s Federico Marchetti or Palermo’s Salvatore Sirigu going as third-choice.

Maggio’s place on the plane to South Africa is more disputable. His right wing-back role in Napoli’s five-man midfield gives Lippi some welcomed versatility. Italy’s tendency to play with four defenders, as opposed to Napoli’s three, means that Maggio would most likely be considered to play at right-back. Milan’s experienced Gianluca Zambrotta won the World Cup in 2006 and is still thought of as the first-choice right-back, although he has missed significant portions of this season. Maggio, who also has three caps to his name, may therefore be taken as back-up, although faces competition from Palermo’s Mattia Cassani.

Quagliarella is more experienced at international level than his two teammates. The striker has 18 caps and has scored three goals for Italy, and has featured regularly under Lippi’s reign as manager. However competition up-front is fierce, with the top scorer in Serie A, Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale, surely to be in pole position.  Quagliarella’s ability to play in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 will give him an edge though.

Lippi is yet to call upon Inter and Roma players as they contest the Serie A title, however Napoli’s trident have been given the chance to shine that they deserve after a fine season.

By James Dielhenn

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