Predicting Italy's World Cup Roster

Predicting Italy's World Cup Roster

Italy National Team
Getty Images

Italy is loaded with talent going into the 2014 World Cup and certainly looks like a serious contender early on. Italy will look to their veteran players to anchor the majority of the team's success. Several of the players on the roster were on the team eight years ago, showing just how experienced the roster truly is.

Goalie: Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon Italy National Team
Simon Stacpoole-USA TODAY Sports

Goalie: Gianlugi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon Italy National Team
Simon Stacpoole-USA TODAY Sports

The anchor of the Italy defense, Gianlugi Buffon will always be one of the best to play the goalkeeper position. His ability to make crucial saves at defining moments of matches make him one of the best in the world. This will more than likely be Buffon's last World Cup, so he hopes to go out on top of the world with another championship.

Right-Back: Christian Maggio

Christian Maggio Italy National Team
Getty Images

Right-Back: Christian Maggio

Christian Maggio Italy National Team
Getty Images

Listed as a midfielder, Christian Maggio has made a transition to the right-back position and shown tremendous promise. The Napoli player has done tremendously well this season for his Serie A club and will look to bring his experience and talents to Brazil.

Center-Back: Andrea Barzagli

Andrea Barzagli Italy National Team
Getty Images

Center-Back: Andrea Barzagli

Andrea Barzagli Italy National Team
Getty Images

Currently a regular fixture for the Serie A side Juventus, Andrea Barzagli is a consistent player to have on any team's back line. His size will be very important for winning corner kicks and muscling off skinny forwards. Italy would be very smart to make sure he is on the plane to Brazil.

Center-Back: Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini Italy National Team
Getty Images

Center-Back: Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini Italy National Team
Getty Images

The general of the Italy back four is none other than Giorgio Chiellini. His knowledge and experience of the game is next to impossible to match. He is also a consistent threat on set pieces. He currently has three goals for his club Juventus this season. Chiellini knows this World Cup is going to be exciting and full of great opportunities for his country.

Left-Back: Domenico Criscito

Domenico Criscito Italy National Team
Getty Images

Left-Back: Domenico Criscito

Domenico Criscito Italy National Team
Getty Images

An experienced member of the Italy roster, Domenico Criscito has a great chance of being in the starting XI come June. Criscito started all three games for the Italians at the 2010 World Cup, but has seen spotty playing time since. He has started to re-emerge and could very well be starting on a regular basis again if his play continues to improve.

Right Center Mid: Daniele De Rossi

Daniele De Rossi Italy National Team
Getty Images

Right Center Mid: Daniele De Rossi

Daniele De Rossi Italy National Team
Getty Images

One of the best holding midfielders in today's game, Daniele De Rossi is going to be an incredibly valuable part of Italy's offense this coming World Cup. At 30 years of age, De Rossi still has plenty left in the tank both at the club and national team level. De Rossi is no stranger to World Cup play as he has been on the past two cup squads. His experience and presence in the midfield will absolutely crucial to Italy making a deep run come June.

Center Mid: Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo Italy National Team
Getty Images

Center Mid: Andrea Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo Italy National Team
Getty Images

The midfielder maestro that is Andrea Pirlo will probably be retiring from international play after this coming World Cup. Pirlo has proven the statement that Italian soccer players age like fine wine. His age has not stopped him from continuously scoring mind-blowing free kicks and setting up numerous scoring chances with his deadly crosses. Fans can expect Pirlo to leave it all on the field this summer in Brazil.

Left Center Mid: Claudio Marchisio

Claudio Marchisio Italy National Team
Getty Images

Left Center Mid: Claudio Marchisio

Claudio Marchisio Italy National Team
Getty Images

It is currently a toss-up as to whether the last midfield spot will be occupied by either Claudio Marchisio or Riccardo Montolivo. Each player brings a tremendous amount of talent to the field and can make big plays happen at any time.

Forward: Stephan El Shaarawy

Stephan El Shaaraway Italy National Team
Getty Images

Forward: Stephan El Shaarawy

Stephan El Shaaraway Italy National Team
Getty Images

Even after sustaining an injury towards the end of last year, Stephan El Shaarawy will more than likely make the roster going to Brazil. The 21-year-old brings speeds and creativity to the Italian attack. Pairing alongside a player like Mario Balotelli, the two would create numerous problems for opposing defenses.

Forward: Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli Italy National Team
Getty Images

Forward: Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli Italy National Team
Getty Images

The play of Mario Balotelli is incomparable, no matter what way a person may look at it. He is fast, strong and has an absolute rocket of a shot. As long as he keeps his temper under control, Balotelli has the potential to be the best striker at this year's World Cup.

Forward: Giuseppe Rossi

Giuseppe Rossi Italy National Team
Getty Images

Forward: Giuseppe Rossi

Giuseppe Rossi Italy National Team
Getty Images

A true New Jersey boy, Giuseppe Rossi will be looking to crack the starting XI this coming June. His play for his Serie A club Fiorentina has been tremendous. Rossi currently has 14 goals and three assists. Italy fans will be hoping that his scoring ways continue all the way down to Brazil. The attacking trio of Rossi, Balotelli and El Shaarawy would be incredibly dangerous.