Italy may draft in a 24th player if Mauro Cameronesi's injury does not improve [EPA]

The World Cup holders bring their trophy to South Africa with a frightening list of records and a merciless footballing style.

Renowned for their ability to defend a 1-0 lead, the Italians won the 2006 World Cup with an exciting departure from their usual pragmatic style but still know how to sit behind the ball and destroy other teams' ambitions.

Coach Marcello Lippi took the team to 31 unbeaten matches in a row over two stints in charge, and his team can count on the top-level nous of keeper Gianluigi Buffon, 2006 captain Fabio Cannavaro and Daniele de Rossi.


Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Morgan De Sanctis (Napoli), Federico Marchetti (Cagliari)

Group F fixtures

Monday June 14

Italy v Paraguay 

Tuesday June 15

New Zealand v Slovakia 

Sunday June 20

Slovakia v Paraguay 
 Italy v New Zealand 

Thursday June 24

Slovakia v Italy 
 Paraguay v New Zealand


Salvatore Bocchetti (Genoa), Leonardo Bonucci (Bari), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Domenico Criscito (Genoa), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Gianluca Zambrotta (AC Milan).


Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Fiorentina), Angelo Palombo (Sampdoria), Simone Pepe (Udinese), Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)


Antonio Di Natale (Udinese), Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Juventus), Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria), Fabio Quagliarella (Napoli).

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies