Italy defender Nesta ruled out of final

July 6, 2006

DUISBURG, Germany, July 6 (Reuters) - Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has been ruled out of Sunday's World Cup final against France in Berlin through injury.

'He's definitely not available,' Enrico Castellacci, Italy's team doctor, told reporters on Thursday.

Nesta has not played since the last group game against Czech Republic when he picked up a groin injury which forced him to sit out the second round match against Australia, the quarter-final with Ukraine and Tuesday's semi-final win over Germany.

Marco Materazzi, who started against Germany, is again expected to partner captain Fabio Cannavaro in the centre of an Italian defence which has conceded just one goal in the tournament.

Milan defender Nesta has suffered injury setbacks in all three of the World Cups in which he has played - he missed Italy's second round defeat to South Korea four years ago and was also injured for the quarter-final exit to France in 1998.

Meanwhile, Italy will sport their familiar home blue colours while France will again play in white, FIFA said on Thursday.

It will be the fourth match in a row at the finals that France, known as 'Les Bleus', will wear white shirts. Italy are the designated 'home' team for the final, which kicks off at 1800 GMT at the Olympiastadion.

Germany (white) and Portugal (standard red) will both play in their usual colours for Saturday's third-place match in Stuttgart.