Lippi plumps for Inzaghi in final Azzurri 23

May 15, 2006

ROME, May 15 (Reuters) - AC Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has been included in Italy coach Marcello Lippi's 23-man squad for next month's World Cup finals.

The 32-year-old striker has not played for the national team since October 2003 due to a series of injuries but his recent club form has earned him a spot in the squad.

However, there is no place for Real Madrid forward Antonio Cassano or Livorno's Cristiano Lucarelli -- whose 19 goals in Serie A this season had pushed him into contention.

Udinese forward Vincenzo Iaquinta was given the nod ahead of Lucarelli as back up for target man Luca Toni, who is Europe's top scorer with 31 goals this season.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was included despite his link to an ongoing investigation into gambling.

Italy have been drawn in Group E for the finals along with Ghana, the Czech Republic and the United States.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Angelo Peruzzi (Lazio), Marco Amelia (Livorno)

Defenders: Cristian Zaccardo (Palermo), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Fabio Cannavaro (Juventus), Gianluca Zambrotta (Juventus), Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan), Fabio Grosso (Palermo), Massimo Oddo (Lazio), Andrea Barzagli (Palermo).

Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan), Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Mauro Camoranesi (Juventus), Simone Perrotta (AS Roma), Simone Barone (Palermo).

Forwards: Luca Toni (Fiorentina), Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus), Francesco Totti (AS Roma), Alberto Gilardino (AC Milan), Filippo Inzaghi (AC Milan), Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese).

Reserves: Morgan De Sanctis, goalkeeper (Udinese), Daniele Bonera, defender, (Parma), Franco Semioli (Chievo Verona), Marco Marchionni (Parma).