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Giallorossi In Azzurro

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The final 23 man squad came out today and the man to be dropped was Riccardo Montolivo (still can't get over the fact that two of the four Serie A Champions League squad contributed one completely useless Italian combined), which means Roma will send four to Swissaustria to try and bring home the glory - and if not, well, we're still World Champions for another two years.

Congrats to the boys.

Christian Panucci

We've been asking for a targetman since forever, but we honestly need somebody to look up the number of headers scored in Serie A this season. Christian might very well be Top 5. Therefore, if Borriello falters, OMR should be vice-Toni.

More likely he'll either be a reserve CB/RB off the bench; or, if Fabio Grosso doesn't play up to his typical Azzurri standards, he'll be starting on the right with Zambro on the left. And, should the Azzurri win a free kick just outside the box near the goal line, Panuccigol is a good as gold.


Daniele De Rossi

Got to start, right? Clearly the best midfielder in Serie A this season, he's simply a class above the rest when it comes to Gattuso and Ambrosini, his likely competitors/partners in the midfield alongside The World's Best Right Foot (eat it, Becks).

There's a chance that it might - this is Donadoni, after all - but that would be a major mistake. Daniele's skill set combined with his grit and determination will ultimately be the key to winning the battle in midfield. Number 10 should, and most likely will, play every game from the start.



Alberto Aquilani

The wildcard. He may start or he may spend most of the tournament on the bench. If he plays we all know what he's capable of, which is probably close to or just short of Gigi Buffon's expectations of him: see Gigi thinks Alberto can be the best midfielder in the world someday soon (future recruiter, he is). Perhaps he's just impressed that much in training camp? Which of course leads one to believe that Alberto will be in the starting XI come the 9th of June, or at the very least will make his way in before the tournament is over, but we shall have to wait and see.



Simone Perrotta

His ratio of coach appreciation to fan appreciation is off the charts, and he's one of the prime examples of why coaches are in the spots they are and fans are watching from home. His off the ball movement, workrate and stamina are second to none. If you can't have otherworldly, Totti-type talent, he's the next best thing. And for all of Donadoni's shortcomings, I think he's come to realize this. It just all depends on how Donadoni wants to work the midfield. Perrotta can play in a more central role, the treq position he performs for Roma or even on the wings as he was used under Lippi and in the late stages of this season.

I honestly have no idea how much he'll play, with part of that being a credit to his versatility. And while he may not be in the sexiest XI, he just might be in the best XI, and that's all that matters.

Logic says one of Aquilani (more likely) or Perrotta (less) should be in the starting XI, but when has logic ever figured into The Don's thinking?