Reigning champions Italy have Marcello Lippi back at the helm as they chase a fifth World Cup win, and a first outside Europe. Lippi replaced Roberto Donadoni after a disappointing Euro 2008 display, becoming the first coach to return to the Azzurri bench since Vittorio Pozzo, who guided Italy to back-to-back World Cup wins in 1934 and 1938.
Lippi has by and large stuck with the heroes of 2006, even though the likes of Fabio Cannavaro and Gennaro Gattuso appear past their best. While qualification was relatively straightforward, the lethargic display at last year's Confederations Cup set alarm bells ringing. Beaten by Egypt and thrashed by Brazil, they looked anything but world champions.
Italy mourns demise of the Azzuri Italy have been dumped out of the football World Cup, losing 3-2 to Slovakia in one of the surprise results of the tournament. Mark Duff reports from a football-obsessed nation in mourning.
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