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Soccer World Cup

World Cup 2014: Italy’s Top 5 Players

2014 World Cup: Top 5 Italy Players

Andrea Pirlo of Italy
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Italy will be hoping to win their fifth World Cup in Brazil this summer and make up for a disastrous campaign back in 2010 in South Africa. Italy have called upon some of the tried and trusted in their squad, but overall they have a good mix of youth and experience as well as players who are already used to success at club level. These are the top 5 players from their World Cup squad.

5. Andrea Barzagli

Italy defender Andrea Barzagli
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5. Andrea Barzagli

Italy defender Andrea Barzagli
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It's a straight choice between Andrea Barzagli and his Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini here. Chiellini is more recognized because of his eye catching, aggressive style, whereas Barzagli is more cultured and positionally aware. Both are among the best center-backs at this year's World Cup, but Barzagli is that little bit more reliable and consistent than what Chiellini has been.

4. Mario Balotelli

Italy striker Mario Balotelli
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4. Mario Balotelli

Italy striker Mario Balotelli
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Talent wise, Mario Balotelli should be higher up than what he actually is. But still, in 2014, we await Balotelli to finally mature and fulfill his potential -- or even just one of those things would be a start. On his day, however, Balotelli can still tear apart any defense he comes up against. Until he does that more consistently, though, he will remain super talented but a talent unfulfilled.

3. Daniele De Rossi

Daniele De Rossi of Italy
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3. Daniele De Rossi

Daniele De Rossi of Italy
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Daniele De Rossi is the heartbeat of the Italy midfield. The AS Roma hero epitomizes just what a world class box-to-box midfielder really is. The passion, determination and fight really sum up the fierce competitor that De Rossi is, but the long range passing, the vision and ability to score important goals also offer the alternate technical side to De Rossi's game.

2. Gianluigi Buffon

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
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2. Gianluigi Buffon

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon
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A few years ago, Gianluigi Buffon was being questioned, somewhat, after some uninspiring performances from the now 36-year-old. Since then, however, Buffon has gone on to dispel all of those concerns, and he remains one of the most important players for Italy. Not only is he a wonderful goalkeeper on the pitch, but Buffon is also an inspirational leader in the locker room too.

1. Andrea Pirlo

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo
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1. Andrea Pirlo

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo
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If De Rossi is the heartbeat of the Italy midfield, then Andrea Pirlo is the artist. At the age of 35, Pirlo may need some help from his fellow midfielders when it comes to the tough, hard running aspect of the game, but if he does get that help, then he then runs the game in his own special way from there. Pirlo is one of the best passers of the ball in the world and his playmaking ability will be crucial if Italy are to be successful in Brazil.